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Sentencing delayed for Elk Co. pastor and wife accused of child endangerment
By: WJAC Web Staff and The Associated Press
KANE, Pa. -- Sentencing has been delayed for an Elk County pastor and his wife who pleaded no contest to child endangerment charges after they were accused of underfeeding their adopted children.
The Bradford Era reported Tuesday that the couple's sentencing, which was scheduled for Monday, was delayed indefinitely at the request of their attorney.
Mark Hooper, 43, and Susan Hooper, 40, both of Mount Jewett, McKean County, pleaded no contest at the end of December in an effort to avoid having their adoptive children testify in court.
The charges involving the three children, ages 9 to 11, grew out of a state police investigation that began when the youngest child ran away from home last February and told a neighbor about the punishments they faced, which included not being given food.
The couple avoided a trial by entering the no contest pleas. Mark entered a plea to one count of child endangerment and Susan pleaded to three accounts. The plea deal also reduced the charges from felonies to misdemeanors.
The children are now in the custody of foster parents.
A new sentencing date has not yet been set.
Mark was the pastor at the Cobb Street Baptist Church in Johnsonburg, Elk County, at the time the charges were first filed.