Aug 5, 2023

"Sound of Freedom" creator addresses funder Fabian Marta kidnapping arrest

August 4, 2023

Fabian Marta, one of thousands of patrons of the crowdfunded anti-child trafficking film Sound of Freedom, was arrested and charged with accessory to child kidnapping, according to a Missouri court filing. The Class A felony carries a penalty of ten to thirty years in prison, or life imprisonment.

Since-removed Facebook posts appear to show the same person revealing their pride in funding the film. Marta's name appears in the movie's credits among the "investors [who] helped bring Sound of Freedom to theaters."

Sound of Freedom dramatizes the story of anti-child sex-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad and its founder, Tim Ballard, who is played in the movie by Jim Caviezel.

Police confirmed to Newsweek that Marta, 51, from Chesterfield, Missouri, was charged on July 21, and was arrested on July 23. Newsweek approached Marta via Facebook direct message for comment on Friday.

Police also provided a booking photo of Marta, which appears to show the same person pictured on a Facebook account of the same name. Screenshots of since-removed posts from multiple online sources, seen by Newsweek but which could not be independently verified, show Marta speaking about his involvement with the film.

"The Sound of Freedom movie tackles a very tough subject, and took extraordinary effort to bring it to movie theaters," one of the screenshotted posts said. "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."

"Fabian Marta & Family" appears on a list of funding contributors in the film's credits at around 129 minutes and 30 seconds into its run time.

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Marta's next court date is listed in records as August 28. Court records do not yet list his legal counsel in the case.

His bail was set at $15,000 but he was released on personal recognizance following an initial appearance on July 24. The nature of the incident the criminal case relates to is not clear.

Newsweek approached both Steven Capizzi, the Missouri state attorney prosecuting the case, and Angel Studios, via email for comment on Friday.

Sound of Freedom's release was initially delayed after being "bounced around" by studios and the coronavirus pandemic leaving many productions shelved, makers Angel Studios said, before nearly $5 million was crowdfunded for its theatrical release.

The production has since shocked industry insiders by competing with—and occasionally beating—the likes of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and Mission: Impossible Dead Reckoning Part One at the domestic box office in July.

The film has attracted the support of individuals from both sides of the political spectrum for its portrayal of the issue, but has also faced criticism for starring Caviezel, who has espoused QAnon conspiracy theories, in the lead role.

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