Swedish court jails exorcist parents
The Local · 14 May 2013, 11:33
Published: 14 May 2013 11:33 GMT+02:00
- 'Exorcism punishes kids for family's woes' (14 May 13)
- Parents beat 9-year-old girl for 'being a witch' (18 Jan 13)
- Court frees 'exorcized' teen girl's parents (17 Apr 12)
- Swedish town rocked by second child exorcism (13 Apr 12)
The step-mother was sentenced to spend two and a half years in jail, while the father was sentenced to two years and three months.
The pair was also convicted of aggravated violation of a person and unlawful detention (olaga frihetsberövning).
Their daughter was nine years old at the time of the assaults in 2007 and 2008. She shared details of her abuse several years later with the authorities. Among other incidents, she was forced to drink a mixture of her own urine and cleaning fluid until she vomited, all because her parents thought she was a witch.
Her father and step-mother had also tried to administer electric shocks in the girl's mouth, the local Borås Tidning (BT) newspaper reported.
The court also felled a pastor who was drafted in to help expel demons from the young girl's body. He was convicted of unlawful detention, abuse, and for acting as an accomplice to harassment.
A second priest was cleared of all charges.
The appeals court (hovrätten) ruled that the girl's stories from the period were an adequate basis for the prosecution. The court also increased the damages that her assailants must pay her, but declined to specify a sum.
The court ruling furthermore criticized the local court, which first tried the case, for stating in its verdict that exorcism was not uncommon in Swedish evangelical churches.