HARRISBURG, Pa. – A central Pennsylvania church and its youth pastor have pleaded not guilty to charges stemming from a mock kidnapping of a youth group that was meant to be a lesson in religious persecution.
Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church in Lower Swatara Township and 28-year-old Andrew David Jordan, of Elizabethtown, waived an appearance Thursday at a formal arraignment in Dauphin County Court on charges of false imprisonment and simple assault.
Prosecutors say the half-hour ordeal in March included interrogation and staged torture using power tools.
They say masked congregation members bound and blindfolded the teens and drove them in a van to the parsonage on the church grounds, where the men pretended to torture Jordan.
The mother of one 14-year-old girl filed a complaint with police.