Police: 5-year-old girl burned in voodoo ritual; 2 charged - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Police: 5-year-old girl burned in voodoo ritual; 2 charged

(Source: TIME) (Source: TIME)

EAST BRIDGEWATER, Mass. (AP) - Two sisters tied down and burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of a demon causing her to misbehave, police said. The women also threatened to cut off the head of the girl's 8-year-old brother with a machete, authorities said.

The boy said his sister was tied down on at least two occasions while the sisters blew fire over her face and cut her on the arm and in the collar area with a needle-like object, drawing blood, according to police. The girl said the women also poured over her eyes a substance that stung.

Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, of East Bridgewater, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy, the Brockton Enterprise reported . They pleaded not guilty on Jan. 29 to mayhem, assault and other charges. A public defender for the women didn't return a call seeking comment on Saturday.

Police say the girl's mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. She has not been charged but is receiving mental health treatment.

The sisters will be back in Brockton Superior Court on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether they're too dangerous to be released.

The sisters told police that they have performed "cleansing baths" for family and friends in the past, something that involves chanting prayers, rubbing frankincense and eucalyptus oils and sea salt on their bodies, and burning myrrh, the newspaper reported. Children sometimes get burned as spirits leave the body, they said.

The girl suffered a third-degree burn across her face that will leave her permanently disfigured, police said. She was treated at a hospital and taken into custody by state welfare authorities, along with her brother, who described to police what happened at the sisters' house over multiple days.

Voodoo refers to religious practices developed centuries ago by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, primarily in Haiti, where the practices are sometimes spelled "vodou."

___

Information from: The (Brockton, Mass.) Enterprise, http://www.enterprisenews.com

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • NationalMore>>

  • US companies distance themselves from NRA as pressure mounts

    US companies distance themselves from NRA as pressure mounts

    Friday, February 23 2018 11:15 AM EST2018-02-23 16:15:03 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:26 PM EST2018-02-23 22:26:54 GMT
    Investment firm Blackrock wants to know how gun makers will respond to school massacre in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere.More >>
    Investment firm Blackrock wants to know how gun makers will respond to school massacre in Parkland, Florida, and elsewhere.More >>
  • Jonathan Martin detained by police after Instagram post

    Jonathan Martin detained by police after Instagram post

    Friday, February 23 2018 4:57 PM EST2018-02-23 21:57:24 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:19 PM EST2018-02-23 22:19:52 GMT

    A law enforcement official says former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin was taken into Los Angeles police custody after a threatening Instagram post and is being questioned but is not under arrest.

    More >>

    A law enforcement official says former Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin was taken into Los Angeles police custody after a threatening Instagram post and is being questioned but is not under arrest.

    More >>
  • Police experts urge intensive training if teachers are armed

    Police experts urge intensive training if teachers are armed

    Friday, February 23 2018 5:05 PM EST2018-02-23 22:05:41 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:26 PM EST2018-02-23 22:26:18 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). A bicyclist rides past a sign at  Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in Parkland, Fla. Teachers and administrators returned for the first time  since the Valentine's Day shoot...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). A bicyclist rides past a sign at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 in Parkland, Fla. Teachers and administrators returned for the first time since the Valentine's Day shoot...
    Law enforcement experts say it takes specialized and constant training to know how to act in an active shooter situation.More >>
    Law enforcement experts say it takes specialized and constant training to know how to act in an active shooter situation.More >>
Powered by Frankly