Pastor cleared of charge in pneumonia death of grandchild



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READING, Pa. (AP) — The pastor of a Pennsylvania congregation that avoids modern medicine has been cleared of a charge that he should have alerted authorities to possible child abuse when his 2-year-old granddaughter was dying of pneumonia.

A judge on Monday dismissed the charge of failure to report suspected abuse against 72-year-old Rowland Foster in the 2016 death of Ella Grace Foster.

The Reading Eagle says Berks County Judge Theresa Johnson ruled in a pretrial hearing there wasn't sufficient evidence to support the allegation.

Foster is pastor of Faith Tabernacle Congregation, which instructs members to avoid doctors and pharmaceutical drugs. Under Pennsylvania law, pastors are required to report suspected child abuse.

A pathologist had previously testified that Foster's granddaughter would have almost certainly survived if she had been given antibiotics.

Messages left for Foster and his attorney weren't immediately returned Tuesday.

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Information from: Reading Eagle, http://www.readingeagle.com/

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The Associated Press

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