Man faces sexual assault charges in wake of 'cleansing ritual'

Herald-Review, Illinois/April 20, 2010

Decatur - Two 17-year-old women told police they were sexually molested by a 40-year-old man involved in a witchcraft group known as the "Order of the Seeing Eye."

The man was arrested and booked into Macon County Jail on Friday on preliminary charges of criminal sexual abuse, after one of the women told police she was molested at a party at his home at which witchcraft was practiced.

The teenager reported to police that she attended the party on Saturday, April 10, with some friends, in the 1200 block of North Dennis Street, according to a sworn statement by a Decatur police officer. She discovered that the man was the leader of a group of six to 10 people.

When she inquired about joining the group, she was told she had to undergo a cleansing ritual to get rid of her bad energy. After lying on the living room floor, the man performed ritual chants and rubbed his hand all over her body.

The woman told police that she was afraid to resist because the man was the leader of the group and had many swords and knives in the room. She said she never gave the man permission to touch her.

Another 17-year-old woman told police that the man has performed 10 to 15 "ritual cleansings" on her since she joined the group about two months ago. During some of those rituals she told the man to stop rubbing her body, which would cause him to stop for 10 seconds before resuming.

This woman told police she was afraid to come forward because the man threatened to kill anyone if they spoke about his group.

A third 17-year-old woman told police the man also molested her during a "cleansing ritual," but she declined to file a complaint because of fear of retribution.

The man admitted to performing "cleansing rituals," but said he only bladed his hands between the women's breasts, but never touched their breasts.

The man was released from jail after posting $2,500 bail. He is scheduled to be arraigned May 18 in Macon County Circuit Court.

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