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Exorcism priest had sex with daughter

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12:49 CET+01:00
An Orthodox Christian priest in the Stockholm region has been sentenced to jail after being convicted of having sex with his mentally disabled daughter.

The priest was found by Södertörn District Court to have bound, beaten and had sex with the girl.

All details pertaining to the victim are subject to confidentiality, but prosecutor Johanna Lindgren confirmed that she was over 15, the age of majority, at the time the priest had sex with her.

During the trial it emerged that the 69-year-old priest believed his daughter to be possessed by the devil. His acts of violence against her were a means of driving evil spirits from her body, the court heard.

The priest believed that there were three possible ways to exorcise the devil and "cure" his daughter. These involved prayer, bringing her body into contact with a crucifix, and blessing her with holy water, newspaper Mitt i Södertörn reports.

When none of these methods produced the desired results, the priest grew ever more violent.

In October, a passer-by contacted the police after finding the girl bruised and battered in a playground near her home. The witness heard that she had been tied up by her father and lashed with a belt.

When questioned by police, the girl said that her father had also forced her into sex as a means of driving Satan from her body.

The priest admitted to tying his daughter up to prevent her from breaking things and injuring others, but he denied having sex with the girl.

The court however found there to be compelling evidence to back up the girl's claims and sentenced the priest to one year and three months in jail. The prison term would have been longer had not the priest also lost his job, the court said.

He was also ordered to pay his daughter 127,000 kronor in damages.

"I am pleased with the verdict itself but I would like to have seen a longer sentence," prosecutor Johanna Lindgren told The Local.

The court found the priest guilty of assault, false imprisonment and incest.

The prosecutor said that both she and the counsel for the defence had lodged appeals.

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