One of the thousands of crowdfunding supporters of “Sound of Freedom,” this summer’s surprise box office hit, is now charged with being an accessory to child kidnapping. Fabian Marta, a 51-year-old Missouri man, was arrested last month by St. Louis police. Marta’s attorney called the charge “unfounded.”
“Sound of Freedom,” which addresses child trafficking, so far has grossed $163 million during its five weeks in theaters. The movie stars Jim Caviezel as former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard, who founded the anti-trafficking group Operation Underground Railroad. Some people have criticized “Sound of Freedom” due to possible links with right-wing conspiracy theories such as QAnon.
Crowdfunder Is Listed in ‘Sound of Freedom’ Credits
Angel Studios, which produced “Sound of Freedom,” said 6,678 people invested an average of $501 each into the movie’s launch. “Just as anyone can invest in the stock market, everyone who meets the legal criteria can invest in Angel Studios projects,” said CEO Neal Harmon. He added that the studio “adhered to the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations” for its crowdfunding process.
In a now-deleted Facebook post, Fabian Marta, one of those 6,678 investors, discussed his financial contribution to “Sound of Freedom.” According to screenshots shared by media outlets, Marta wrote, “The ‘Sound of Freedom’ movie tackles a very tough subject, and took extraordinary effort to bring it to movie theaters. I’m proud to have been a small part of it. If you see the movie look for ‘Fabian Marta and Family’ at the very end of the credits.”
The amount of money that Marta and his family contributed isn’t known, but he isn’t considered to be a main financier of the film. Marta, a resident of Chesterfield, Missouri, was released on personal recognizance after a July 24 court appearance. His next court date is scheduled for Aug. 28. If convicted of the Class A felony, he could be sentenced to at least 10 years in prison.
Deadline reported that Marta is “a landlord to a woman who was involved in a custody dispute with her aunt. Marta was allegedly providing living arrangements to said woman and her child, the former [of whom] is involved in rehabbing the rental property.”
Crowdfunder’s Attorney Disputes Charge
In addition to calling the charges against Marta “unfounded,” attorney Scott Rosenblum said of his client, “I don’t understand how they’re charging him with this. He has nothing to do with kidnapping anyone.”
Child kidnapping, the allegation against Marta, is different from child trafficking, the subject of “Sound of Freedom.”