Prosecutors have charged four Amish bishops in southwest Missouri with failing to report suspected child sex abuse.

The four men were charged Tuesday with one misdemeanor count each.

Missouri law requires people with "responsibility for the care of children" to report suspected child abuse. Examples of mandatory reporters are doctors, nurses, social workers and teachers and ministers who are not engaged in a "privileged communication."

A lawyer for the four men questioned whether the law applies. Attorney Will Worsham noted that the Amish community does not separate government and religion and that a "bishop" is more akin to a mayor or city councilman.