A Spanish priest has been arrested for allegedly performing repeated exorcisms on a teenage girl with an eating disorder.
Jesus Sahagun, from Valladolid, has been charged with several offences including gender violence and causing injury and mistreatment.
The events began in 2012 when the girl’s parents asked for Sahaguns help because they believed Satan had possessed their daughter.
She was then subject to 13 exorcisms, in which she was repeatedly tied up and had crucifixes held over her head.
The girl's aunts and uncles complained to police after the teenager tried to commit suicide.
In a statement in court, the girl’s parents said the Priest was aware their daughter was suffering from anorexia but that he told them the exorcisms would not interfere with her treatment.
In an interview with El Mundo newspaper in 2014, Sahagun said the exorcisms were necessary because the girl was “possessed by the devil.”
“The young woman’s suicide attempt was not a result of the exorcisms practiced on her,” he said.
Sahagun also defended exorcisms as "a religious practice maintained as part of the Church’s tradition, as a right available to all the faithful."
News break – March 19