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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

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)

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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!
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