October 9, 2013
A group of former members of a US-based protestant church, the Seventh Day Adventist, are on trial in France for torturing a 19-year-old woman while attempting to exorcise “the devil” out of her in shockingly-violent style.
The trial of three men and a woman, all of French Caribbean origin, kicked off on Monday, with the group being charged with kidnapping, acts of torture and barbarism, reports AFP.
They are accused of tying up the young Cameroonian woman, Antoinette, in the position of Jesus Christ on the cross and keeping her bound to a mattress for a week.
The four, including her former boyfriend Eric Daeron, were confident that the teenager’s body had been possessed by the devil. According to defendants, Antoinette jumped on Daeron mumbling something incomprehensible. After the attack – which they believed was a proof of her being possessed by evil – they decided to try an exorcism.
When police found Antoinette in Grigny, a southern Paris suburb, she was dehydrated, emaciated and showed signs of having been beaten. The woman later told investigators that her captors fed her small amounts of oil and gave her water just to keep her alive.
The defendants deny using violence against the victim and claim that she agreed to the exorcism.