CALDWELL, ID – A woman who knew her husband was molesting their children may be protected from prosecution because of Idaho’s “faith healing” exemptions.

What’s worse than knowing that your husband is molesting your children for 17 years and not doing anything about it?

Knowing that your husband is molesting your children for 17 years and not doing anything about it, because God.

Meet Sarah Kester, alleged mother in Caldwell, Idaho and anointed in the Lord to protect her ne’er-do-well husband Lester Kester and his wayward, perverted pickle.

Lester Kester. That’s right. Somebody had sadistic parents. And prescient, too: it rhymes with “molester.”

Well, actually he’s Lester Kester, Junior. It’s really wrong like that.

They say “yesterday’s bitch is tomorrow’s abuser.” Maybe that’s why Lester molested all four of his daughters, some of them starting at age one.

He’s not likely to get away with it, but his wife might.

You see, the Kester clan is part of a small, insular Pentecostal sect known as Followers of Christ. The Followers appear to be best known for their practice of faith healing and their concomitant shunning of modern medicine. That and the resultant trail of dead children that probably would have lived if given the chance to see a doctor.

Because of an exemption for faith healing in the pertinent child-protection laws in Idaho, parents in the church are immune to charges when they withhold medical care from sick children if they substitute instead “treatment by prayer or spiritual means.”

There is a concern on the part of prosecutors, legislators, law enforcement and children’s advocates that Sarah Kester will attempt to use this religious exemption to escape punishment for failing to report the abuse, as another tenet of her church forbids “involv[ing] agencies such as law enforcement, child protection services, or counseling services into personal matters.”

There is equal concern that this defense might actually work, they say, because of how broadly-written the religious exemption is.

Fortunately, one of Kester’s daughters didn’t feel herself to be bound by this doctrine of silence, and was finally able to report the abuse.

On June 21st, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare alerted the Canyon County Sheriff’s Office to this report. A second daughter confirmed the story the same day. They both stated that they had confronted Sarah Kester about the abuse three years ago, only to have her do… nothing.

Well, that’s not fair. She had done something. For years she “pray[ed] for ‘the demon’ to leave Lester and attempt[ed] to keep him busy with other tasks.”

“Here’s a honey-do list. Quit fucking the kids!” Mom of the Year.

For Lester’s part, well, detectives have stated that he confessed to molesting all four of his daughters until they neared puberty. In a Puritanical deflection of blame that will surprise no one (you were probably all waiting on it), Lester blamed it all on “bad guy” or a “demon” that consumed him.

Currently, Lester is facing four felony counts of lewd conduct with a minor under 16, and Sarah is facing one felony count of injury to a child. His bond is $500,000, hers is $25,000. Both remain in custody as of press time.


Sarah and Lester Kester

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