Fact Check

Was 'Sound of Freedom' Funder Fabian Marta Arrested in Felony Child Kidnapping Case?

"Fabian Marta & Family" was one of more than 6,600 names of people who were credited with providing funds for the theatrical release of the movie.

Published Aug 4, 2023

Updated Sep 26, 2023
 (St. Louis Police Department (Email))
Image Via St. Louis Police Department (Email)
Fabian Marta, one of more than 6,600 "Angel investors" for the film "Sound of Freedom," was arrested on suspicion of the class A felony accessory to child kidnapping shortly after the film's release.

This story was originally published on Aug. 4, 2023. On Sept. 25, a Missouri judge dismissed the charges against Marta after the prosecution declared it had "insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction."

On Aug. 2, 2023, Twitter user Jim Stewartson tweeted a claim that alleged a man named Fabian Marta, who was one of thousands of people who helped fund the theatrical release of the child sex-trafficking movie "Sound of Freedom," was later arrested in Missouri on suspicion of being an accessory to child kidnapping.

The film was released in theaters on July 4 and is expected to be available for streaming in the fall.

Readers asked us if this rumor was true. It was.

We reached out to Marta and spoke with him over a voice call on Messenger. He directed us to his lawyer for further questions.

By email, St. Louis-based Scott Rosenblum, an attorney representing Marta, confirmed it was true his client both provided some funding for "Sound of Freedom" and was under investigation after being charged with accessory to child kidnapping in Missouri. Police arrested Marta on July 23, according to the St. Louis Police Department.

"He has been charged," Rosenblum told Snopes. "We will enter a plea of not guilty."

Update: On Sept. 25, a Missouri judge dismissed the charges against Marta after the prosecution declared it had "insufficient evidence to obtain a conviction."

The website for Angel Studios, the distributor for "Sound of Freedom," detailed that over 6,600 individuals pitched in as "Angel investors" to raise nearly $5 million in funds to go toward the movie's theatrical release.

Marta's name appeared on screen during the film's end credits as "Fabian Marta & Family" under the list of "Angel investors."

He was not, however, a producer for the movie, as at least one TikTok user falsely claimed.

After the controversy involving Marta was brought to the attention of Angel Studios Co-Founder Jeffrey Harmon, he tweeted a video showing the massive list of names of such investors that rolled during the end credits:

Harmon also responded on Twitter to users who referenced the allegations against Marta.

"There are 6,600+ investors in the public P&A crowdfunding round," he tweeted. "Someone had to do some serious homework to find one random dude isn't a good guy." (Note: "P&A" stands for prints and advertising.)

He also tweeted, "Of course I condemn him. I'm glad the justice system is taking care of him." This tweet was later removed.

In an official company statement sent by email, Angel Studios' other co-founder, Neal Harmon, who is Jeffrey Harmon's brother, said, in part:

Angel Studios adhered to the requirements of federal and state laws and regulations in allowing 6,678 people to invest an average of $501 each into the launch of 'SOUND OF FREEDOM.' Just as anyone can invest in the stock market, everyone who meets the legal criteria can invest in Angel Studios projects. One of the perks of investing was the ability to be listed in the credits.

Neal Harmon also praised members of the law enforcement community for their work.

In a separate matter also posted by Stewartson in July, he detailed a purported past relationship Marta had engaged in, alleging that it involved sex trafficking. Rosenblum said of this separate allegation, "I believe the charges are unfounded."

We reached out to another party Stewartson named in an unrelated matter to ask about the claim, but did not yet receive a response.

This story will be updated if any further developments come to light.


"565.115." Missouri Revisor of Statues, https://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=565.115&bid=29317.

@AngelStudiosInc. Twitter, https://twitter.com/AngelStudiosInc/.

"Back This Theatrical Release." Angel Funding, https://invest.angel.com/freedom.

Graham, Efrem. "Angel Studios Stuns Hollywood as 'Sound of Freedom' Soars to $125M: Here's Their Secret to Success." CBN, 20 July 2023, https://www2.cbn.com/news/entertainment/angel-studios-stuns-hollywood-sound-freedom-soars-125m-heres-their-secret.

Stewartson, Jim. Twitter, https://twitter.com/jimstewartson/.


Aug. 7, 2023: This report was updated to specify that Marta was being charged with accessory to child kidnapping.

Sept. 26, 2023: This report was updated to reflect the fact that a Missouri judge had dismissed the case against Marta, citing "insufficient evidence" from the prosecution.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.