"Faith Healing at Llandrindod Wells Methodist Church" by Geoff Charles / Public Domain

Faith-healing follower sentenced for not reporting sex abuse

Feb 15, 2019

By the Associated Press

NAMPA, Idaho — An Idaho woman who refused to report her husband’s yearslong sexual abuse of young relatives and instead prayed for “the demon” to leave him was ordered Thursday to spend a year in a prison treatment program.

Judge Christopher Nye said that if Sarah Kester, 51, fails to successfully complete the program, she will serve at least four and up to 10 years in prison, the Idaho Press reported.

Prosecutors say her husband, Lester Kester Jr., molested five children over two decades. He pleaded guilty in October to five felony charges of lewd conduct with a minor in exchange for prosecutors not pursuing charges of possession of child pornography.

The couple is affiliated with the Followers of Christ Church, whose members eschew medical care for themselves and their children in favor of “faith healing” because they believe that prayer and rituals can sufficiently treat even catastrophic illnesses.

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