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Leader of a church in Indiana indicted in faith-healing case

The Rev. Hobart Freeman, leader of the controversial Faith Assembly congregation in northeastern Indiana, was indicted Wednesday on charges of aiding and inducing reckless homicide, criminal recklessness, and child neglect in the death of a teen-age church member whose parents chose to rely on prayer for healing rather than seek medical treatment for their daughter. Pamela Margaret Menne, diagnosed as suffering from a chronic kidney disease, died in September.

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The Rev. Mr. Freeman and the parents, who were indicted on the same charges, surrendered yesterday at the Kosciusko County, Ind., jail. Kosciusko County Prosecutor Michael L. Miner, citing the secrecy of Indiana grand jury proceedings, declined comment on why the Rev. Mr. Freeman was charged in the case of the girl's death. The Faith Assembly instructs its followers to rely on faith and prayer rather than conventional medical care to treat members in need.