• Sweden's news in English

Appeals court acquits Swedish 'exorcist'

TT/Rebecca Martin · 10 Jan 2012, 10:26

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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).

Story continues below…

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)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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. "

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

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
Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Watch this amazing footage of Sweden’s landscapes
A still from the aerial footage of Sweden. Photo: Nate Summer-Cook

The spectacular drone footage captures both Sweden's south and the opposite extreme, thousands of kilometres north.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available