The uncle and mother of three teenage girls have been sentenced to 14 years in jail for raping and assaulting them in voodoo exorcism sessions.
The man, a 28-year-old from Togo, claimed to have been ‘chasing out an evil spirit’ when he assaulted his niece and her two older sisters between 2010 and 2011.
The victims’ mother, 41, was found guilty of complicity as she had even supplied the condoms used in the crime.
‘She more or less delivered her daughter to the rapist,’ the prosecutor told a court in Bobigny, an eastern suburb of Paris.
During the sessions, the man would wash the girls’ genital areas, and cut their hands and legs before applying a purportedly magical black powder to the wounds.
His sister-in-law was found to have given her consent.
The man was arrested in February 2011 after his last rape.
He claims that he is unaware of the rapes inflicted on his niece.
The victim’s lawyer, Daniel Merchat, said: ‘This denial is the second rape. It is a rape of the soul.’
The prosecutor also said: ‘The voodoo belief that was cited is just window dressing,’ adding that the man ‘does not suffer from any mental illness… he is completely responsible for his acts.’
The uncle, whose identity is not known, was sentenced to 14 years; the mother was handed a seven-year jail term.
It is the latest in a number of voodoo cases which have emerged in France, which has a large African community, in the past few years.