The pastor of a Massachusetts church faces a $300 civil fine for allegedly ignoring the state's ban on gatherings of 10 or more people during the coronavirus pandemic.
Police on Sunday counted more than 40 people leaving Adams Square Baptist Church in Worcester.
"It is disappointing that despite all of the sound medical advice, and evidence of the effectiveness of limiting public gathering in curbing the spread of the COVID-19 virus, that this pastor has chosen to ignore that," Worcester City Manager Edward Augustus Jr. said in a statement.
The church had been warned the previous Sunday when about 50 people attended worship.
When asked how many people attended the service, pastor Kristopher D. Casey said "more than 10."
The church had a deep cleaning and everyone inside was required to wear masks and gloves, he said. People attending the service had their temperature taken and hand sanitizer was available.
"My whole argument has been the First and 14th amendments, along with Massachusetts law that says that no law shall be made that infringes on my rights to freely worship my God and my savior," Casey said.
This article was originally published on May 04, 2020.