When can a church be accused of a crime? - 1999-12-08
Lisa McPherson, 36, was a Scientologist who died after being under the church's care in Clearwater in 1995. The state has filed charges of abuse and practicing unlicensed medicine against the church's Flag Service Organization, or simply "Flag."
McPherson died that Dec. 5 after 17 days at the church's Fort Harrison Hotel under the supervision of Scientologists. The state says she died of a pulmonary embolism, with dehydration and immobility as contributing factors. The state says her final days featured raving delusions and forced medication.
Flag's lawyers seek to have the charges dismissed.