Limburg exorcists sentenced

A court in the easterly city of Hasselt has handed down a 9 month suspended sentence to a man from Beringen (Limburg) and his 39-year-old son following a conviction for abuse connected to exorcism. The two, who were convicted in their absence, will also each have to pay a 275 euro fine.

The victim is the father's grandson.

In March 2009 the boy called the local police because he had been attacked in his home. When officers arrived they found the child with a metal chain around its neck.

The boy also had two black eyes and deep scratches on arms and neck.

There were also marks from blows on his back.

The police discovered that the child's father and grandfather were responsible for the abuse. They had inflicted the injuries in an attempt to exorcise the devil. The culprits claimed that the child had agreed to the treatment, but this account was given little credence by the magistrate.

The boy, who has psychiatric problems, fled his parents' home a while earlier to escape an earlier attempt to exorcise the devil.