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CRIME

Exorcism priest had sex with daughter

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.

ALMEDALEN 2022

Attacker ‘severely disturbed’ during stabbing at Swedish political festival

Theodor Engström, the 33-year-old man who stabbed psychiatrist Ing-Marie Wieselgren to death at the Almedalen political festival in July, was seriously psychiatrically disturbed at the time of his attack, forensic psychiatrists have ruled.

Attacker 'severely disturbed' during stabbing at Swedish political festival

According to the Hela Gotland newspaper the Swedish National Board of Forensic Medicine has ruled that the man was so disturbed at the time of his attack he had lost the ability to understand the consequences of his actions, and has as a result recommended that he be given psychiatric treatment rather than a prison term.

The agency said that Engström had still been disturbed at the time he was given psychiatric assessment, and warned that there was a risk that Engström would commit further criminal acts. 

“This is a question which has relevance at a future stage,” said prosecutor Henrik Olin. “It means he cannot be sentenced to jail, but will instead receive psychiatric care. But it is not going to change how the investigation is carried out.” 

READ ALSO: What do we know about the Almedalen knife attack?

Engström stabbed Wieselgren, who worked as psychiatric coordinator for the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions, as she was on the way to take part on a discussion at the Almedalen political festival. She died in hospital later that day. 

Engström has admitted to carrying out the attack, telling police that he intended to make a protest against the state of psychiatric healthcare in Sweden. 

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