Oregon faith healer gets criminal misconduct ruling

Oregon City — Carl Brent Worthington was given a 60 day sentence in jail for what the judge ruled as criminal mistreatment of their one year old daughter. The defense unsuccessfully tried to defend Worthington’s religious belief in faith healing which avoids using doctors. In this case, his daughter had pneumonia and a blood infection and died without treatment. A more severe charge of manslaughter was not found. The jail time could also have been 365 days instead of 60, but was not pressed by the prosecution.

The case goes beyond jail sentencing as he is instructed to find a doctor for their current 5-year old child and to provide proper visits and follow certain orders by the physician.The case made national news and is the first prosecution to be tried under the 1997 religious defense Oregon law.

The Judge said “I will stand by my assessment that this was wrong, wrong, wrong. This was an unnecessary tragedy. This, religious tenet or not, is simply wrong — fundamentally and simply wrong.”  Later the, Judge stated “It is the judgment of this court that Mr. Worthington will leave this court in handcuffs. That may seem too harsh to many … but I will simply say again that it is an important symbol of how seriously this community takes our obligation to our children that Mr. Worthington be incarcerated for a relatively brief time and that that commence immediately.”

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