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Guilty Plea in Faith Healer Case

November 20, 2003|From Times Staff Reports

A Van Nuys faith healer whose services were promoted on a popular Spanish-language radio show has pleaded guilty to unlawfully practicing medicine after selling antibiotics to an undercover police officer and injecting drugs into a man who later died, prosecutors said.

The case of Reina Chavarria, who was arrested in October 2002, has gained added notoriety in the Latino community because she was touted by radio host Renan Almendarez Coello.

A separate civil action charges Chavarria, Coello and the Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. -- parent of radio station KSCA-FM (101.9) -- with negligence after the death of Roberto Caceres, an Orange County handyman who received injections from Chavarria last year.

Chavarria will be sentenced to three to six years in state prison, a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney said.

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