GERING, Neb. (AP) -- A minister and his wife were fined $100 each for restraining a boy and praying over him.
Assembly of God pastor Dwight Sandoz of Minatare and his wife, Nadine, were found guilty of false imprisonment of a minor. Scotts Bluff County Judge Glenn Camerer said at Monday's bench trial that they had good intentions but broke the law.
Their son, 18-year-old Joshua, also was charged with second-degree false imprisonment, but the charges were dropped because of lack of evidence.
Sandoz and his wife were accused of restraining a 16-year-old boy during a youth group meeting at their church on Feb. 20. Sandoz had said the action was taken after the boy became disruptive.
A church parishioner, Alice Gudgel, was fined $100 in May after being convicted by a jury of false imprisonment of the youth.
Minatare police said they were called to the church after getting a call from the boy's mother, observed the teen-ager being forcibly held down as part of a religious ritual and broke it up.
Sandoz and Gudgel testified at her trial they only laid their hands on the boy and prayed, sometimes "speaking in tongues," in an effort to convert him.
Camerer said Monday that Sandoz and his wife could have called the police or at least the boy's mother.
"You have to be careful when you take the law into your own hands," Camerer said.
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