Probe sought after AP report on church abuse allegations

A district attorney in North Carolina is asking for a state investigation of two of his assistant prosecutors who are members of a North Carolina church where former congregants say officials beat members and derailed criminal investigations.

In a statement Wednesday, District Attorney David Learner said he asked the State Bureau of Investigation to look into his employees. That request was made Tuesday, a day after Learner told reporters he was familiar with The Associated Press story about his prosecutors but couldn't talk because it was a personnel matter.

Former members of Word of Faith church in Spindale told the AP that prosecutors Frank Webster and Chris Back provided legal advice, helped at strategy sessions and participated in a mock trial for four congregants charged with harassing a former member.