An anorexic Spanish teenager endured 13 exorcisms because her religious parents were convinced her eating disorder had something to do with her being possessed by the devil.
The girl, who has not been named, attempted suicide after being subjected to the physical abuse, which involved her being tied up and having crucifixes positioned over her head, reported El País.
A judge in Burgos called for the arrest of Jesús Hernández Sahagún, the official exorcist in Valladolid, a city situated in Castile and Leon in northwestern Spain. The charges against the exorcist include gender violence, causing injury and mistreatment, during the series of exorcisms dating back as far back as 2012 reported El Diario de Burgos
According to El País, the girl's parents were convinced she was under the control of the devil and arranged for the exorcisms. They told the court that the exorcist was aware that the young girl was having medical treatment for her eating disorder.
In an interview with El Mundo last December, Sahagún defended carrying out 13 exorcisms, stating that the girl was "possessed by the devil". The priest claimed to have performed 200 exorcisms over the last four and a half years.
He also added that exorcisms were "a religious practice maintained as part of the church's tradition, as a right available to all the faithful".
Four people were jailed in France in 2013 for kidnapping a 19-year-old woman, crucifying her by tying her with ropes, and leaving her until she was close to death. It was an attempt to exorcise malign spirits they believed had possessed her.