Plea deal reached in church youth group mock kidnapping case

Howard Friedman, Religion Clause

A church in Dauphin County, Pennsylvania and its pastor have reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in connection with charges growing out of  a church youth group activity that went awry.  The Harrisburg Patriot-News reported yesterday on the assault and false imprisonment charges that were brought against Glad Tidings Assembly of God of Lower Swatara Township and youth pastor Andrew Jordan who staged a mock kidnapping at a youth group meeting to dramatize the dangers faced by missionaries in some countries. A mother of a 14-year old girl who was frightened by the kidnapping complained to authorities. Under the plea agreement, the church will pay a $10,000 fine, and the youth pastor will avoid a criminal record through the accelerated rehabilitative disposition program. He will  pay a $500 penalty, serve up to a year of probation and do 50 hours of community service. (See prior related posting.) [Thanks to Carl H. Silverman for the lead.]