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Ariel Ben Sherman

Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission
Charges of child abuse and neglect have been dismissed against Love Holy Trinity Blessed Mission members Jacqueline Crank, 44, and Ariel Ben Sherman, 76, accused in the death from lack of medical treatment of Crank’s daughter Jessica, 15. The judge ruled that “Haley’s Law” applied only to cases where the child was under 13 when diagnosed. “We still don’t know where you draw the line between parental privacy and religious freedom,” said the couple’s attorney. [csr 5.1 2006]

New Life Ministries/Ariel Ben Sherman
Follower Indicted
A Loudon County (KY) grand jury has indicted Jacqueline Crank on misdemeanor child abuse and misdemeanor child neglect charges in connection with her refusal to seek medical care for her daughter, who died of cancer in 2002. Also indicted was Ariel Ben Sherman, leader of the small religious group to which Crank belonged. (WATE TV News, Internet, 4/16/03) [csr 2.2 2003]

Ariel Ben Sherman
Abuse Charges Dropped
A Loudon County (TN) judge has dismissed felony child abuse and neglect charges against a woman accused of failing to seek medical treatment for her cancer-stricken daughter, who later died. The mother relied instead on prayer. Similar charges were also dropped against Ariel Ben Sherman, who was described as the dying girl’s “spiritual father” and head of the small religious sect to which she and her mother belonged. [csr 2.1 2003]

The defense persuaded the judge that the state had not demonstrated the necessary probable cause to send the felony counts to a grand jury. Even the District Attorney agreed that “there’s not anything (testimony) to show serious bodily injury.” (Knoxville News Sentinel, Internet, 12/20/02) [csr 2.1 2003 2003]

New Life Tabernacle
Ariel Ben Sherman Accused of Child Abuse
New Life Tabernacle leader Ariel Ben Sherman has been arrested on charges of endangering the life of a 15-year-old girl. He and the girl’s mother, who has been charged with child abuse and neglect, refused to seek medical help for a basketball-sized tumor on the girl’s shoulder even after doctors told them that her condition was serious.[csr 1.3 2002]

As leader of the Good Shepherd Tabernacle Commune in Oregon in the 1980s, Sherman was charged with child abuse for, among other things, binding children with ropes and suspending them from the ceiling for hours. He fled Oregon during the investigation but was caught three years later in Indiana. [The source does not say whether he was tried on the Oregon charges.] (Syan Rhodes, WBIR News, Knoxville, TN, Internet, 8/6/02) [csr 1.3 2002]

On August 29, a judge denied defense lawyers’ requests to let them take a deposition from the now-dying girl, even though she apparently wants to give it. The lawyers say that their defense will be based on a Tennessee law that bars charging parents who use prayer in lieu of medical treatment for seriously ill children. They add that without the girl’s testimony to the effect that she was being treated with prayer, their defense will be crippled, and that when the girl dies, her mother and Sherman will be charged with murder. (Randy Kenner, Knoxville News-Sentinel, Internet, 8/29/02) [csr 1.3 2002]