French Sect Members Tried for Baby-Killing

Xinhua/March 19, 2001

Paris -- A court in southwestern France opened Monday to examine the case of a French-German couple who are followers of an apocalyptic sect and charged with killing their 19-month-old baby four years ago, reported Agence France-Presse.

Michel Ginhoux, 40, and his German wife Dagmar Ginhoux, both members of a sect named "Tabitha Apostolic Order," were sued for not taking care of their baby son Raphael who was born with cardiac malformation and rickets.

While their son was suffering, the parents lived in a farm in Angous, Pyrenees-Atlantics, southwestern France to practice their apocalyptic belief with hundreds of fellow sect members. Raphael died of hunger and illness in April 1997, according to judge Thierry Pons.

Pons said he will give his sentence on Thursday night. On the same day, other 19 members of the same sect will also be sentenced for negligence of parents' obligation for not allowing their children to receive education and vaccination.

The sect, originated from Vermont, northeastern United States, claims that it has hundreds of members. They live in closed community and refuse medical treatment and education from outside for their children.

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