By Associated Press - Monday, July 13, 2020

PEQUEA, Pa. (AP) - Prosecutors have reduced charges against an Amish bishop accused of not notifying law enforcement about a church member’s alleged confession in the sexual assault of three girls.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Lancaster County prosecutors on Monday reduced a felony charge against 63-year-old Levi Esh Sr. to a misdemeanor. He now faces two misdemeanor counts.

Pequea Township police earlier alleged that Esh failed to report the church member’s confession about sexual assaults that occurred around 2012 and 2013. They cited witnesses within the Amish community who said that while Esh’s church excommunicated the member, he had the matter “handled internally” in order to keep it quiet.

Esh, bishop of two congregations in Lancaster County, and the church member waived preliminary hearings and face Common Pleas court arraignments Aug. 14.

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