RELIGION

Pastor won't face trial over granddaughter's death

  • The Rev. Rowland Foster, center, shakes hands with defense attorney Chris Ferro, right, before a Wednesday, April 19, 2017, court hearing in Bernville, Pa. Foster, the leader of a Pennsylvania church that rejects modern medicine, won't stand trial after a judge  dismissed a novel case Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that sought to hold the pastor responsible for failing to report suspected abuse when Foster's 2-year-old granddaughter Ella Foster died of pneumonia in November 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)

    The Rev. Rowland Foster, center, shakes hands with defense attorney Chris Ferro, right, before a Wednesday, April 19, 2017, court hearing in Bernville, Pa. Foster, the leader of a Pennsylvania church that rejects modern medicine, won't stand trial after a judge dismissed a novel case Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that sought to hold the pastor responsible for failing to report suspected abuse when Foster's 2-year-old granddaughter Ella Foster died of pneumonia in November 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)  (The Associated Press)

  • The Rev. Rowland Foster, center, shakes hands with defense attorney Chris Ferro, right, before a Wednesday, April 19, 2017, court hearing in Bernville, Pa. Foster, the leader of a Pennsylvania church that rejects modern medicine, won't stand trial after a judge dismissed a novel case Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that sought to hold the pastor responsible for failing to report suspected abuse when Foster's 2-year-old granddaughter Ella Foster died of pneumonia in November 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)

    The Rev. Rowland Foster, center, shakes hands with defense attorney Chris Ferro, right, before a Wednesday, April 19, 2017, court hearing in Bernville, Pa. Foster, the leader of a Pennsylvania church that rejects modern medicine, won't stand trial after a judge dismissed a novel case Wednesday, April 19, 2017, that sought to hold the pastor responsible for failing to report suspected abuse when Foster's 2-year-old granddaughter Ella Foster died of pneumonia in November 2016. (AP Photo/Mark Scolforo)  (The Associated Press)

The leader of a Pennsylvania church that rejects modern medicine won't stand trial on a charge that he failed to report suspected abuse when his granddaughter died of pneumonia.

A judge on Wednesday says there's not enough evidence to support allegations that 72-year-old Rev. Rowland Foster broke state law by not alerting authorities when 2-year-old Ella Foster died at home in November.

Foster is pastor of a Faith Tabernacle Congregation that instructs members to avoid treatment by physicians and the use of pharmaceutical drugs.

Police say the girl almost certainly would have survived had she been given a simple course of antibiotics.

Ella Foster's parents are charged with involuntary manslaughter and await trial.