Oregon faith-healing parents fight to get baby back, face criminal charges
OREGON CITY -- A Beavercreek couple who left their infant daughter's fate to God rather than seek medical treatment for a mass that grew over her left eye will face charges of first-degree criminal mistreatment.
Prosecutors revealed Thursday during a custody hearing that a grand jury has indicted Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, members of Oregon City's Followers of Christ church.
The Wylands' 7-month-old daughter, Alayna, was placed in state custody earlier this month after child-welfare workers received a tip about the untreated and ballooning growth. Doctors said that the condition could cause permanent damage or loss of vision.
The Wylands were indicted within the past few days and probably will be arraigned next week, said Colleen Gilmartin, the deputy district attorney handling the custody case in juvenile court.
Under Oregon law, it is a crime for parents to intentionally and knowingly withhold necessary and adequate medical attention from their children. First-degree criminal mistreatment is a Class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
( They never considered getting medical attention for AlaynaCollapse )
Judge won't return baby to Followers of Christ parents for now
A judge Wednesday refused to return a 7-month-old girl to her parents, members of an Oregon City church that embraces faith healing, after hearing testimony that the child could lose vision in one eye because she didn't get medical care.
Details of the child's condition emerged during a four-hour Clackamas County Circuit Court hearing.
The parents, Timothy and Rebecca Wyland, asked Judge Douglas V. Van Dyk to return the child, now in foster care, and promised that they would provide whatever treatment was required by the court or the state Department of Human Services.
But Van Dyk denied the request, noting that doctors are still assessing the child's condition and devising a treatment plan. "The risks are great for this child," he said.
Meanwhile, the Wylands could face criminal charges.
( The state medical examiner's office has reported that during the past 30 years more than 20 children of church members have died of preventable or curable illnessesCollapse )
sure if it was god's will that your baby have a huge growth over their eye, why use faith healing to get rid of it if god wants it there? surely curing disease is the work of satan.