Lester Kester Jr. and Sarah Kester

Lester Kester Jr. and Sarah Kester

CALDWELL — A Caldwell mother accused of failing to report her husband’s alleged sexual abuse of their daughters pleaded not guilty to felony injury to a child in 3rd District Court Tuesday.

Sarah Kester, 50, told detectives after her July 11 arrest that she learned her husband, Lester Kester Jr., 48, was having sexual contact with one of their daughters about 17 years ago when the girl was a small child, according to a probable cause affidavit. She told detectives she learned of the abuse again three years ago, according to the affidavit.

Sarah Kester’s defense attorney, Bethany Lyn Harder Haase, argued for Kester’s bond to be reduced, but Judge Davis VanderVelde denied the request during Tuesday’s district court arraignment. Kester is still held in the Canyon County jail on a $25,000 bond. Her jury trial is set to begin Oct. 24.

Lester Kester is set to appear for his district court arraignment Aug. 6. He’s being held in the jail on a $500,000 bond on four felony charges of lewd conduct with a minor under 16.

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The victims claimed Lester Kester had sexual contact with them “as far back as they could remember” until they were about 12 years old, according to the affidavit. He’s accused of molesting each of his four daughters.

Sarah Kester told detectives she tried to protect their children through praying the demon away from her husband and keeping him busy with other tasks, the affidavit states.

Canyon County Sheriff Kieran Donahue previously confirmed to the Idaho Press the Lesters are affiliated with a church in Canyon County that practices faith healing. Sarah Kester told one of his deputies that their family belonged to the local Followers of Christ Church, according to Donahue, and that it was against her belief system to involve agencies such as law enforcement, child protection services, or counseling services into personal or family matters.

Emily Lowe is the public safety reporter. Follow @EmLoweJourno on Twitter

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