State takes middle road against Scientology - 1998-11-23

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F15.png State takes middle road against Scientology November 23, 1998, Thomas C. Tobin, St. Petersburg Times

The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization Inc. was charged with abuse and/or neglect of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license.

Though serious, the lawyers said, the charges carry less emotion than manslaughter and less of a stigma for Scientology than if church members faced individual charges that could put them in prison. Because the Scientology entity was charged corporately, no single person faces prosecution or punishment.

"They probably determined that this is the charge that can be best proved, most easily proved, as opposed to manslaughter," said Michael Cheek, a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Clearwater.

"I think Bernie realized that the church, in all probability, was going to fight vociferously if a church member was charged," said criminal defense lawyer Denis DeVlaming, a law school classmate of McCabe's.


{{cite news | first = Thomas C. | last = Tobin | title = State takes middle road against Scientology | url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/sptimes/access/36255094.html?FMT=FT&dids=36255094:36255094&FMTS=ABS:FT | work = St. Petersburg Times | date = November 23, 1998 | accessdate = January 14, 2017 }}