Judge keeps charges that Pa. couple underfed kids

KANE, Pa. (AP) — A judge refused to dismiss endangerment charges against a northwestern Pennsylvania pastor and his wife accused of underfeeding their three adopted children.

The Bradford Era reports Senior Common Pleas Judge John Cleland issued his ruling, without explanation, on Wednesday.

Forty-three-year-old Mark Hooper and 40-year-old Susan Hooper, of Mount Jewett, had asked that an earlier decision ordering them to stand trial be reversed.

The charges involving the children, who range in age from 9 to 11, grew out of a state police investigation that began when the youngest child ran away from home earlier this year.

The children have testified they were punished by having meals withheld, but the couple claimed there wasn’t enough evidence to support prosecutors’ claims that the children’s small stature was due to underfeeding.

Cleland scheduled their trial for Jan. 6.

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Information from: The Bradford Era, http://www.bradfordera.com

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