Last Friday, a jury in Switzerland sentenced a 50-year-old German man to 9 years in prison for an “exorcism” that reportedly involved raping his daughter and stomping her, causing her death.
The prosecution charged the man with trampling his 25-year-old daughter to death in an effort to cast out a demon. Prosecutors also claimed he raped his dead daughter in an effort to revive her.
The prosecutors presented videos illustrating the brutal assaults using a life-size straw puppet, the German newspaper Deutsche Welle reported. According to the videos, the man stood on his daughter as she lied on the floor, and he forcefully kicked her in the stomach.
The daughter passed away due to internal injuries, according to autopsy reports.e
The man told the court he was simply giving his daughter a massage to drive out the demon. His lawyer argued the act was a negligent homicide and asked for a lenient three-year sentence.
The jury at the Frauenfeld District Court in Thurgau canton, Switzerland, sentenced the man to 9 years in prison. He was tried in Switzerland because the incident took place in Wagenhausen, a city in Thurgau canton, in January 2016. The victim had only known her biological father for about two and a half years, according to the Swiss newspaper St. Galler Tagblatt.
The man and his lawyer said they will appeal the verdict.
A spike in reporting of demonic activity in Italy has alarmed the Roman Catholic Church, which will host a weeklong international exorcism course in April.
Interestingly, the German man may have used some Hindu spirituality in his “exorcism.” According to Britain’s The Daily Star, the father said he had tried to revive his daughter through a “stimulation of the first chakra,” a reference to Hindu tantrism. While exorcism is usually associated with the Roman Catholic Church, this event may not have been inspired by Catholicism after all.