Sister of teenagers beaten at New York church to appear in court

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Parents of Church Beating Victim Appear in Court

The half-sister of two teenagers severely beaten at a church in upstate New York, leaving one dead and the other hospitalized, is due to appear in court on Wednesday on assault charges.

Sarah Ferguson, 33, is accused of participating in a group attack on her 17-year-old brother, Christopher Leonard, during a counseling session last week at the Word of Life Church in Chadwicks, New York, about 50 miles east of Syracuse.

Leonard, who was recently released from a hospital where he was treated for blunt force injuries throughout his body, is expected to testify against Ferguson in New Hartford Town Court on Wednesday.

Ferguson is charged with assault in the second degree, along with three fellow parishioners, and is being held at Oneida County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

See the alleged attackers in court:

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Upstate New York church killing, Lucas Leonard - family in court
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Sister of teenagers beaten at New York church to appear in court
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., Bruce Leonard is shown. Leonard and his wife, Deborah Leonard of Clayville, N.Y., have been charged with first-degree manslaughter in the beating death of their 19-year-old son, Lucas. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., Deborah Leonard is shown. Leonard and her husband, Bruce Leonard of Clayville, N.Y., were charged with first-degree manslaughter in the beating death of their 19-year-old son, Lucas. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., Sarah Ferguson is shown. Ferguson, a member of the Word of Life Church has been charged with assault for beating 19-year-old Lucas Leonard inside the church. The New Hartford Police Department say 65-year-old Bruce Leonard and 59-year-old Deborah Leonard of Clayville are charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas. Four fellow church members, including Ferguson have been charged with assault. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., David Morey is shown. Morey, a member of the Word of Life Church has been charged with assault for beating 19-year-old Lucas Leonard inside the church. The New Hartford Police Department say 65-year-old Bruce Leonard and 59-year-old Deborah Leonard of Clayville are charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas. Four fellow church members, including Morey have been charged with assault. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., Linda Morey is shown. Morey, a member of the Word of Life Church has been charged with assault for beating 19-year-old Lucas Leonard inside the church. The New Hartford Police Department say 65-year-old Bruce Leonard and 59-year-old Deborah Leonard of Clayville are charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas. Four fellow church members, including Morey have been charged with assault. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
In this undated photo provided by the New Hartford Police Department in New Hartford, N.Y., Joseph Irwin is shown. Irwin, a member of the Word of Life Church has been charged with assault for beating 19-year-old Lucas Leonard inside the church. The New Hartford Police Department say 65-year-old Bruce Leonard and 59-year-old Deborah Leonard of Clayville are charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of their son Lucas. Four fellow church members, including Irwin have been charged with assault. (New Hartford Police Department via AP)
Sarah Ferguson arrives at New Hartford Town Court on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Parents charged with beating their teenage son to death inside a church are giving diverging versions of what happened, though lawyers for both said Thursday the couple hadn't intended the brutality that unfolded. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Deborah Leonard enters the courtroom for a hearing, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Leonard and her husband have been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, and four fellow church members have been charged with assault in an attack that also left the young man's brother severely injured. (Tina Russell/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Joseph Irwin stands in court during a hearing, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce Leonard and his wife Deborah Leonard have been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, while Irwin is one four fellow church members who have been charged with assault in an attack that also left the young man's brother severely injured. (Tina Russell/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Bruce Leonard enters the courtroom for a hearing, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Leonard and his wife have been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, and four fellow church members have been charged with assault in an attack that also left the young man's brother severely injured. (Tina Russell/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Linda Morey, left, and David Morey, right, wait appear in front of Judge Bill M. Virkler during a hearing, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce Leonard and his wife Deborah Leonard have been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, while the Moreys are two of four fellow church members who have been charged with assault in an attack that also left the young man's brother severely injured. (Tina Russell/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Joseph Irwin arrives at New Hartford Town Court on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Bruce Leonard arrives at New Hartford Town Court on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Deborah Leonard grows emotional as testimony is given a hearing, Friday, Oct. 16, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Leonard and his husband have been charged with fatally beating their 19-year-old son inside a church, and four fellow church members have been charged with assault in an attack that also left the young man's brother severely injured. (Tina Russell/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
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The beatings of Christopher and his 19-year-old brother, Lucas, began late on Oct. 11 in the church's "sanctuary room" and lasted more than 10 hours, police said.

Police have said the counseling session was intended to force the teenagers to confess to their sins and apologize. The attack also might have been prompted by rumors the brothers intended to leave the church, police said.

Lucas Leonard died from injuries inflicted during the beatings, in which an electrical extension cord was used, police said. His parents, Bruce Leonard, 65, and Deborah Leonard, 59, have been charged with first-degree manslaughter in his death. They are being held at Oneida County Correctional Facility in lieu of $100,000 bail.

More from the scene:

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Upstate New York church killing, Lucas Leonard - crime scene photos
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Sister of teenagers beaten at New York church to appear in court
The Word of Life church is seen on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in the church on Sunday, one fatally, in an effort by their parents, sister and other members to get them to confess their sins, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Police walk outside the Word of Life church on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
The Leonard family residence is seen on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in Clayville, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their 19-year-old son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, at the nearby Word of Life church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Map locates New Hartford, N.Y.; 1c x 3 inches; 46.5 mm x 76 mm;
The Leonard family residence is seen on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in Clayville, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their 19-year-old son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, at the nearby Word of Life church on Monday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
A school bus passes the Word of Life church on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in the church on Sunday, one fatally, in an effort by their parents, sister and other members to get them to confess their sins, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Valerie Giannatelli walks past the Word of Life church with children from her daycare center on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Police talk to a man through a fence while serving paperwork at the Word of Life church on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
The Word of Life church is seen on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Two teenage brothers were brutally beaten in the church on Sunday, one fatally, in an effort by their parents, sister and other members to get them to confess their sins, police said Wednesday. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Police knock on the door of the Word of Life church while serving paperwork on a church member, Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
New Hartford Police Chief Michael Inserra speaks about a fatal beating of a 19-year-old inside the Word of Life church during an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
Police walk outside the Word of Life church on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, in New Hartford, N.Y. Bruce and Deborah Leonard have been charged in the beating death of their son, Lucas, and the severe beating of his 17-year-old brother, Christopher, inside the church on Sunday. Four other adults were charged with assault in the younger brother's beating, including Sarah Ferguson, 33, the victims' sister. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
People attend a candlelight vigil in honor Lucas Leonard and Christopher Leonard, two teenagers brothers who were beaten during a church counseling session, at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Chadwicks, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Lucas Leonard died in the attack at the Word of Life Christian Church in the central New York town of New Hartford. (Tina Russel/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
The crowd chants songs during a candlelight vigil in honor of Lucas Leonard and Christopher Leonard, two teenagers brothers who were beaten during a church counseling session, at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Chadwicks, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Lucas Leonard died in the attack at the Word of Life Christian Church in the central New York town of New Hartford. (Tina Russel/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Lauryn Johns signs a banner during a candlelight vigil in honor of Lucas Leonard and Christopher Leonard, two teenagers brothers who were beaten during a church counseling session, at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Chadwicks, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Lucas Leonard died in the attack at the Word of Life Christian Church in the central New York town of New Hartford. (Tina Russel/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Laura Petrilli, left, and Bianca Petrilli attend a candlelight vigil in honor of Lucas Leonard and Christopher Leonard, two teenagers brothers who were beaten during a church counseling session, at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Chadwicks, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Lucas Leonard died in the attack at the Word of Life Christian Church in the central New York town of New Hartford. (Tina Russel/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
Charlie Sherman plays a guitar and sings during a candlelight vigil in honor of Lucas Leonard and Christopher Leonard, two teenagers brothers who were beaten during a church counseling session, at St. Patrick St. Anthony Church in Chadwicks, N.Y., Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015. Lucas Leonard died in the attack at the Word of Life Christian Church in the central New York town of New Hartford. (Tina Russel/Observer-Dispatch via AP, Pool)
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Oneida County District Attorney Scott McNamara said last week that he was seeking a grand jury indictment of the Leonards.

Parishioners Joseph Irwin, 26, Linda Morey, 54, and David Morey, 26, are also charged with second-degree assault in connection with Christopher Leonard's beating. They have been released after posting $50,000 bonds and are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 15.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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