SCIENTOLOGY CHURCH CHARGED IN 1995 DEATH OF FLORIDA MEMBER - 1998-11-15
The Church of Scientology has been charged in the 1995 death of a member whose family claimed she became severely dehydrated after being held against her will for 17 days.
Prosecutor Bernie McCabe on Friday charged the church with abuse or neglect of a disabled adult and unauthorized practice of medicine, both felonies. An attorney for the woman's family told the Tampa Tribune that the church would face only a fine if it is convicted.
The church noted that prosecutors did not specifically charge the church or any individual member with killing Lisa McPherson, 36, who died on Dec. 5, 1995, after being under the 24-hour care of fellow church members at the church's Fort Harrison Hotel. She had been taken there reportedly to recover from a mental breakdown, but records indicated she was in good physical condition.