Cast out a demon? Cult leader in court for rape – Bavaria

Physical abuse, rape against evil forces: According to the Schweinfurt public prosecutor’s office, a “spiritual leader” of an alternative residential community in Lower Franconia wanted to free a woman possessed by demons. From Monday onwards, the Schweinfurt regional court will be hearing proceedings against the man, who was born in 1982.

The public prosecutor is convinced that the defendant brutally mistreated and abused his victim last May. According to investigators, the man is said to have choked his former fiancée several times until she lost consciousness.

According to the prosecution, during sexual intercourse the woman was supposed to, among other things, act as a hateful demon that the man wanted to drive out of her. At a party lasting several days, where drugs were also said to have been taken, the suspect is also said to have claimed that his victim had been sent into the world by demons to destroy him. A total of eight days of negotiations are scheduled for the trial until the beginning of April.

According to them, one to two dozen people live in the shared apartment. The goal is to support people on their path to healing and growth. What exactly is meant by this is unclear. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the defendant has the position of a “spiritual leader” in the community.

The cult representative of the Protestant regional church, Matthias Pöhlmann, who visited the shared apartment a few years ago and spoke to former members several times, describes the group as a social-utopian community. Authoritarian leadership style, peer pressure, loss of privacy, hours-long tribunals in which individuals have to justify themselves – this is what former roommates had reported to him, he told the German Press Agency.

Particularly critical members were threatened with expulsion, said Pöhlmann. The many inquiries to him from former members showed: “These are clear factors for the group’s potential for conflict.”

The club has repeatedly employed the police for years. According to previous information from the public prosecutor’s office, witnesses described during investigations that a certain psychological pressure had been built up on community members in order to achieve certain behavior. Members were advised to leave the group if, in the eyes of the community, they moved outside of the community rules. “However, such influences are not relevant under criminal law,” the authority announced at the end of 2021.

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