READING, Pa. - The case against a church pastor charged in connection with the death of his 2-year-old granddaughter has again been dismissed.
The Rev. Rowland George Foster, whose church rejects modern medicine, has been accused of failing to report suspected abuse before the girl died of pneumonia on November 8, 2016.
For the second time, however, a judge determined that there's not enough evidence to support allegations that Foster, in his role as a mandatory reporter, broke state law by not alerting authorities to an incident of child abuse.
The girl's parents, Jonathan and Grace Foster, are accused of failing to seek medical treatment for their daughter before her death inside the family's home in Upper Tulpehocken Township.
The Fosters told investigators that, because of their religion as members of Faith Tabernacle Church in Lebanon, they believe in the power of prayer over medicine and doctors.
Rowland Foster told investigators that he observed Ella Grace Foster just prior to her death and said that she was not talking much and "sounded sick."
At the time of her death, authorities said Ella would have had extreme difficulty breathing and a fever of around 104 degrees. They said the girl almost certainly would have survived had she been given a simple course of antibiotics.
All pastors have a duty to report abuse, said Berks County District Attorney John Adams, who initially charged Rowland Foster in March and then charged him again in May, after the first dismissal.
Adams told 69 News on Tuesday that his office has not decided whether to charge Foster a third time.
Jonathan and Grace Foster are awaiting trial on involuntary manslaughter charges. The couple have surrendered their six other children to child services.
Members of the Bernville Community Fire Company gathered at the Route 183 overpass of I-78 in Upper Tulpehocken Township as the bodies of Ivan Flanscha and Zach Anthony passed through the area.Read More »
- March for Our Lives rally planned in Reading City Park
- Berks firefighters pay tribute to 2 fallen York comrades
- US Postal Service unveils Mister Rogers postage stamp
- Hamburg fire victim was someone who 'took care of everybody'
- Coroner: Motel fire victim died of smoke inhalation, burns
- Jury: Berks couple guilty in 2-year-old daughter's death
- Updated Bethlehem car chase ends in crash
- Temperatures remain cool this weekend
- Updated PSU fraternity pledge death may have been preventable, medical expert testifies
- Updated District arms teachers with rocks in case of school shooter
- Readington middle schooler to compete in Scripps National Spelling Bee
- Berks fire crews honor firefighters killed in York
- Lehigh Valley Auto Show's Community Day gives back
- Updated Legislation introduced for tougher hazing penalties
- Monroe County graduate dies in fire, honored with procession
- Liquidation sales underway at Toys R Us