The Malta Independent 29 March 2023, Wednesday
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Exorcist tells court ‘clock fell’ in house he was blessing

Wednesday, 30 October 2019, 16:30 Last update: about 4 years ago

An exorcist has told a magistrate investigating a strange case of rape that he had not seen anything spiritually troubling during numerous prayer visits to the accused’s home.

The case of the 18-year-old Cospicua resident, who cannot be named on the orders of the court, continued before magistrate Nadine Lia this afternoon, just in time for Halloween.

The man is accused of the rape of a vulnerable woman – the mother of his girlfriend – as well as with causing her and another vulnerable woman – her daughter – to perform sexual acts against their will, violent indecent assault on a person who was unable to resist, holding the women against their will and forcing them to perform acts contrary to their decency and slightly injuring them.

He was further accused of causing his girlfriend’s sister and her mother to fear violence and with participating in sexual activities with a 15-year-old girl in the same family.

Summoned to testify by defence lawyer Jason Azzopardi, exorcist Fr. John Vella told magistrate Nadine Lia that there was a lot of destruction at the man’s house and that his parents and siblings had told him that objects had moved of their own accord. But the priest said that he had not seen or experienced anything untoward happening himself.

“The only ‘paranormal’ activity I noticed was that as I was blessing the house and walked outside, there was nobody, but as soon as I went outside, something fell from the stairs - a broken clock.” He was with alone with the parents at the time, he said.

“The cause was that the mother… she was involved in the occult. She would communicate with spirits,” Fr. Vella said. The mother herself had told him this, he explained.

“Everyone said the same, things would fly. Glasses breaking and voices would be heard. But this is what they told me… also that the voices would order them to do bad things.”

He had blessed the house because the family had said they heard “spirit voices”. “That’s why I went to bless the house. But I heard nothing.” “I didn’t see anyone else in the house nor did I hear movement.”

The family had not contacted him in 2019, he said, adding that the mother had stopped contacting him around September last year.

“I told her husband that this is a confused case and I had to be very careful not to be confused myself.”

The woman had admitted to using occult paraphernalia and to placing curses on people, he said.  When asked why she had asked for an exorcist, if she didn’t want to stop using the occult, the witness said “that’s what I was asking her too. I had to be careful not to become involved in it…She showed a willingness to stop…she asked for help.”

The accused is claiming that this was all brought by a third person, that he is the victim, lawyer Jason Azzopardi explained in cross-examination. “Do you exclude the presence of a spirit talking in a human voice?” “No,” replied the priest. “But in this case, I didn’t hear this though.”

The case continues.

Inspector Eman Hayman and Oriana Spiteri are prosecuting.

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