Judge tosses charge against pastor in faith-healing death

Source: Associated Press

By MARK SCOLFORO

BERNVILLE, Pa. (AP) — A judge on Wednesday ruled there was insufficient evidence to charge the leader of a church that rejects modern medicine, but prosecutors said they would try again to bring him to trial in the pneumonia death of his granddaughter.

Prosecutors want to hold the Rev. Rowland Foster accountable by charging him with failing to report suspected child abuse in the death of 2-year-old Ella Foster, his granddaughter.

Hours after the district judge’s decision, the district attorney’s office said it planned to refile the felony count.

Foster, 72, serves as pastor of Faith Tabernacle Congregation, part of a fundamentalist Christian sect that instructs members to eschew treatment by physicians and the use of pharmaceutical drugs. Prosecutors argue he should have reported the girl’s condition to authorities because state law requires ministers to report suspected abuse.

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