Couple plead innocent in child abuse death case, Apr. 22, 2003

LOUDON – A couple pleaded innocent Monday to misdemeanor child abuse charges in the death of a 15-year-old Loudon County girl who died of cancer last year.

Trial for Jacqueline P. Crank, 42, and Ariel Ben Sherman, 74, was set for Jan. 27 in Loudon County Criminal Court. They are free on bond. Crank’s daughter Jessica Crank, 15, died of bone cancer at the home she shared with her mother and Sherman, who has been referred to in court as the girl’s “spiritual father.”

Crank and Sherman were indicted by a grand jury on a misdemeanor charge after a judge dismissed felony charges against them and ruled there was only enough evidence to charge a misdemeanor.

An Oct. 6 court date was set for all motions.

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