• Sweden edition
 
Appeals court acquits Swedish 'exorcist'

Appeals court acquits Swedish 'exorcist'

Published: 10 Jan 2012 10:26 GMT+01:00
Updated: 10 Jan 2012 10:26 GMT+01:00

A Swedish man, convicted and sentenced to prison by the district court for abusing his wife and having her “exorcised”, has appealed the verdict and been acquitted by the Court of Appeals (Hovrätten).

The man from Lund, in southern Sweden, had previously been sentenced to eight months in prison by the district court, which believed his wife's allegations that he had subjected her to verbal and physical abuse for an extended period of time, according to local paper Skånskan.

The case was not the first time the man faced abuse allegations.

He had previously been sentenced to six months in prison as early as 2006 but in 2010 he faced allegations yet again, this time for five incidents when police believed he had beaten his wife with fists, rope, shoes and a broom handle.

The woman claims he took the abuse one step further this time by attacking her from behind a shower curtain, like in a horror movie, and by attempting to have her ”exorcised”.

According to the woman, she was awakened in the beginning of June 2010 by her husband and a man dressed in black entering her bedroom.

Her husband tied her hands together, and held down her legs while the other man placed his hands on her head and proceeded to ”exorcise” her evil spirits.

However, the woman managed to conjure up powers she didn't know she had and free herself.

According to the paper, the “exorcist” later testified that he believed the woman was possessed by evil spirits and that he had been summoned by her husband to rid her of the spirits, something he has been doing for the last 18 years by placing a towel on the head of the afflicted and praying that the spirits leave.

However, he claimed that he never had a chance to start the procedure due to the woman’s violent resistance.

He also told the court that the woman had threatened to call the police and had been shouting and acting aggressively, which he said was a tell-tale sign she was indeed possessed.

The husband had previously told police that he is frightened of his wife and that it is she who beats him. He has also told teachers at his children's school that he has a ”wild animal” at home.

However, the district court found no evidence corroborating the husband's story, and deemed the photographic evidence that the woman presented, of injuries she had allegedly sustained by her husband's beatings, to be credible.

The court also thought that there was reason to believe that the officiator of the "exorcism" procedure had personal reasons for denying the ceremony had taken place.

The husband was subsequently sentenced to prison and to pay his wife damages of 40,000 kronor ($5,800).

However, the appeals court in January felt that the bruises and injuries in the pictures presented by the woman could have been applied by make-up.

The court also ruled that with the differing accounts of what had taken place, it was impossible to determine exactly what had happened during the “exorcism” and the man was therefore acquitted of all charges, according to Skånskan.

TT/Rebecca Martin (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

12:00 January 10, 2012 by ?????
If some people can't live together in peace why do they bother living together at all? How many more stories of real or fake abuse will we have to read? I have to admit, however, that this "exorcist" story is somewhat unique! :)
12:07 January 10, 2012 by HYBRED
I can see where the Exorcism might be mistaken for abuse. I am glad the appeals court got the situation straightened out.
12:25 January 10, 2012 by Svensksmith
I thought my wife was possessed, too. Turned out to be menopause.
12:26 January 10, 2012 by John.Smith
"He also told the court that the woman .. had been shouting and acting aggressively, which he said was a tell-tale sign she was indeed possessed. "

LOl!!!
12:28 January 10, 2012 by zircon
Not every one can be(come) a John Cassavetes, Rosemary's Baby...
12:40 January 10, 2012 by StockholmSam
"However, the appeals court in January felt that the bruises and injuries in the pictures presented by the woman could have been applied by make-up."

Oh brother, another choice tidbit from the Swedish legal system. First it was determined that a rape is not committed if the woman is unconscious. Then it was determined that a pedofile taking pictures of bare-breasted mommies and naked kiddies on the beach is not causing offense because the victims were not aware that the pedofile was in the bushes. Now they say that photographic evidence is of no value because the bruises could have been fake?? I guess that means all photographic evidence is useless in today's era of Photoshopping and image manipulation. These Swedish judges are bonkers.
13:50 January 10, 2012 by American Paj
Ha! Sounds like what my sambo would say. Last time I checked, I didn't have any demons floating around inside...
13:57 January 10, 2012 by engagebrain
The woman was probably lucky not to be charged with resisting exorcism.

Spirits, possession and exorcists - the courts accept this nonsense ?
15:15 January 10, 2012 by DAVID T
@StockholmSam

my wife was assaulted by a crazy woman and she had to have the injuries photographed by a doctor otherwise who's to say they are not made up - If he treated her that bad why does she stay? Sounds like she's nuts and I feel sorry for the guy if it is like he said.
16:54 January 10, 2012 by zircon
I also need a lovestick to make women love me like mad. (From Rising Damp)
22:13 January 10, 2012 by avatar
my girl was also once possessed but it turned out that it was our baby.
22:53 January 10, 2012 by rakerson
Svensksmith you beat me to the punch line!
03:59 January 11, 2012 by philster61
The Power of Christ compels you.....Oddly enough this man is from Lund. As is the real exorcist Max Von Sydow..... must be something in the water in Lund
19:54 January 11, 2012 by strixy
"He also told the court that the woman had threatened to call the police and had been shouting and acting aggressively, which he said was a tell-tale sign she was indeed possessed."

Absolutely! If a stranger enters your bedroom at night and you screem and shout and even threaten to call the police you must be possessed! pmsl!
Today's headlines
Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden
Michael Boatwright (R) and Medieval knight re-enactors.

Florida 'mystery knight' dies in Sweden

The "motel mystery" American who baffled US authorities by only speaking Swedish when he woke up from a coma last year has passed away, Swedish media reported on Wednesday. READ () »

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king
Photo: Bertil Ericson/TT

Swedes open coffin of 850-year-old king

UPDATED: Scientists pried open the 850-year-old casket of King Erik the Holy on Wednesday, hoping to find out more about the king, his crown, and his eating habits. READ () »

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop
TeliaSonera CEO Johan Dennelind. File photo: TT

TeliaSonera announces first-quarter profit drop

Stockholm-listed telecom operator TeliaSonera on Wednesday said profits had fallen in the first quarter, but hoped offering customers more data solutions in the future would turn things around. READ () »

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'
Fredrik Reinfeldt. File photo: TT

'Imperfect EU better than revolting nationalism'

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt on Wednesday urged young voters to head to the European parliamentary polls on May 25th "to cure the European disease of nationalism". READ () »

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg at the first quarter press conference. Photo: TT

Ericsson quarterly profit defies sluggish sales

Swedish telecom giant Ericsson on Wednesday announced a drop in sales but posted a sharp rise in first-quarter profit, which nonetheless fell shy of analyst predictions. READ () »

Fatal Norrköping brawl
Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals
Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Four brothers held as cops fear brawl reprisals

Swedish police fear that several people involved in a brawl in eastern Sweden on Monday night may be seeking revenge after two brothers were shot dead. READ () »

Sponsored Article
Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden
The town of Västervik.

Beautiful pearls of southeast Sweden

Ask a Swede, and they are likely to say that their favourite holiday spot is in the southeast of Sweden. Eastern Småland and Öland offer a smörgåsbord of all the things dearest to the Swedes - from the beloved children's book author Astrid Lindgren to deep forests, long sandy beaches, perfect spots for that all-important 'fika', and a surprising amount of space, peace and quiet. READ () »

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth
Swedes enjoy hot dogs and cherry blossoms in Stockholm's Kungsträdgården. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

Weekend weather to bring summer warmth

The sun is set to stick around and temperatures could climb into the twenties over the weekend, Swedish meteorologists said on Wednesday READ () »

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

'Day-care rapist' admits molesting eight kids

A 21-year-old man confessed on Wednesday to sex crimes against eight children at a day care where he was working as an intern. READ () »

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles
An unrelated bodybuilder. File photo: Ann Törnkvist

Swedish cops nab man for having big muscles

Police in Sweden's south who hauled a muscular man in for steroid testing have had their knuckles rapped, after it was ruled that big biceps cannot be grounds for narcotics suspicions. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
TT
Gallery
Inside the 850-year-old king's coffin
Features
Sponsored: South-eastern Sweden offers Öland beaches and more
Gallery
Swedish underwear shop puts staff in front of the camera
Gallery
IN PICTURES: The Local's Property of the Week - Täby
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - India Unlimited
Features
Sponsored: India+Sweden Week - A film, food, and finance feast
National
University applications rocket to record high
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 18-20
TT
Society
Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
Shutterstock
National
Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Advertisement:
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

718
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com