Christian County prosecuting attorneys agreed to defer charges against a man accused of performing surgical procedures without authorization.
Curtis W. Abbott, 48, and his attorney, Stacie Bilyeu, reportedly reached a deferred prosecution agreement with the Christian County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. As a result, a criminal case with three charges against Abbott has been dropped.
A Christian County grand jury indicted Abbott on Aug. 24. According to online court records, Abbott was booked on Aug. 29 and posted $2,500 bond from jail on Sept. 4. He was charged with two Class D felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child and one Class D felony count of unauthorized practice of medicine or surgery. A Christian County grand jury alleged that Abbott, “knowingly acted in a manner that created a substantial risk to the life, body and health,” of two minor children less than 17 years of age.”
Abbott made a statement in the wake of his arrest, saying the criminal charges he faces are “blown out of proportion.” Abbott put out a video on the YouTube channel for a ministry he runs, or ran at one time, called Restore Bible Culture.
“I did not illegally circumcise anybody,” Abbott said in the video.
Abbott said that two boys were circumcised for religious reasons in order to observe the Passover holiday. Passover is a day to celebrate Jews being freed by God from slavery in Egypt, an event chronicled in the book of Exodus in the Bible. In the video, Abbott denied that the children were ever in danger.
“We used a method that was completely bloodless, wonderfully safe, has no open wounds, no need for sutures,” Abbott said.
In the video, Abbott compared the practice of at-home circumcisions to at-home childbirth. It’s the same principle, he argued.
“There were no problems and it was all great. I think this whole thing is being blown out of proportion and it’s my expectation that the case will ultimately be dismissed,” Abbott said.
The circumcision procedures allegedly occurred in Nixa sometime between May 1, and May 9, 2018.
Due to the nature of a grand jury indictment, the circumstances under which the allegation of unauthorized practice of medicine or surgery came about are unknown.
The probable cause statement does not offer any sort of motive by which Abbott would have performed medical procedures. However, Abbott said in the video that the procedures were performed for religious purposes. Abbott maintains that the boys were safe.
“They were checked out by medical staff due to the reports that ended up being made and there was no issues at all. One of them even quoted, ’This was no bigger deal than a scraped knee,’” Abbott said.
In his launch video for the ministry, Abbott speaks of a desire to move toward a Hebrew culture.
“I’m looking at restoring the Hebrew thread of New Covenant Christianity,” Abbott said. He goes on to speak of “restored Bible authority like I alluded to earlier with financial provision, with signs and wonders, with divine healing moving because we believe God.”
In the launch video, Abbott alluded to some of the challenges he would face.
“I know there is an absolute ominous task to go out and pursue some of these things that God has put on my heart. But you know, there is (sic) giants in the land. There’s religious giants. There’s governmental giants, there’s all manner of different giants in the land,” Abbott said in the video.