Voodoo in the US: five-year-old girl ‘permanently disfigured’
Sisters Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, pictured in a Massachusetts court, were arrested after they allegedly subjected the child to a demon-busting voodoo ceremony that permanently disfigured her.
According to this report, the pair also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s eight-year-old brother with a machete.
The boy said his sister was tied down on at least two occasions during voodoo ceremonies while the sisters blew fire over her face and cut her on the arm and in the collar area with a needle-like object, drawing blood. The girl said the women also poured a substance over her eyes that stung.
LaBossiere and Hilaire, of East Bridgewater, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy. They have pleaded not guilty to mayhem, assault and other charges.
Police say the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. She has not been charged but is receiving mental health treatment.
The sisters will be back in Brockton Superior Court tomorrow (Wednesday) for a hearing to determine whether they’re too dangerous to be released.
The sisters told police that they have performed “cleansing baths” for family and friends in the past, something that involves chanting prayers, rubbing frankincense and eucalyptus oils and sea salt on their bodies, and burning myrrh. Children sometimes get burned as spirits leave the body, they said.
According to a police report, cited by the Brockton Enterprise:
The victim stated that Peggy [LaBossiere] would lean over her and kiss all around her face like a snake and used a pointy object like a needle to cut her on her arm and collar area. LaBossiere cut her enough so that she bled.
The girl suffered a third-degree burn across her face that will leave her permanently disfigured, police added. She was treated at a hospital and taken into custody by state welfare authorities, along with her brother, who described to police what happened at the sisters’ house over multiple days.
Voodoo refers to religious practices developed centuries ago by enslaved Africans in the Caribbean, primarily in Haiti, where the practices are sometimes spelled “vodou”.
Hat tip: Gaurav Tyagi