Seventy-two-year-old Rowland Foster, from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, is the paster of Faith Tabernacle Congregation. The faith of this fundamentalist church rejects the use of medicine and doctors, using “faith healing” instead. So, when Foster’s two-year-old granddaughter caught pneumonia, she did not get the medical attention she needed.
Ella Foster, Rowland Foster’s granddaughter, died in November of 2016. Six months ago, when the event initially took place, the charges were dropped, but after revisiting the situation, everything has changed.
The judge’s decision came after seeing a video of the state police questioning Foster. The District Judge on the case, Ann Young, said that the prosecutors had enough evidence against Foster to send the case to trial.
A forensic pathologist by the name of Dr. Neil Hoffman said that Ella’s condition would have been pretty easily treatable, and that if she was treated, she “almost certainly would have survived.”
“Dr. Hoffman testified that in the morning before she died it would have been apparent to a reasonable person that Ella was in need of medical care and medical intervention,” Kurland said. According to prosecutor Johnathan Kurland, Ella was subjected to child abuse. As a paster, Rowland Foster is legally required to report child abuse, but he failed to do that.
District Judge Ann Young called Dr. Hoffman’s testimony “clear, convincing and compelling.”