JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — In a sudden turn a week before trial, prosecutors on Tuesday dropped a headline-grabbing child sex abuse case against the leader of an isolated church commune in the Ozarks.

Prosecutors dismissed all charges against the Rev. Raymond Lambert; his wife, Patty Lambert; and their sister-in-law Laura Epling, the wife of a church deacon. Charges were dropped because two women believed to have been abused as girls stopped cooperating with prosecutors, defense lawyer Robert Evenson said.