Tue, Dec 18, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Brazil detains faith healer for sexually abusing women

AP, RIO DE JANEIRO

A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing more than 300 women turned himself in on Sunday to authorities in Brazil’s Goias State, after spending almost a day as a fugitive, police said.

Joao Teixeira de Faria, who is known as Joao de Deus, had been given until 3pm on Saturday to comply with an arrest warrant, but he did not surrender by the deadline and was deemed a fugitive from justice, officials had said.

He finally surrendered on Sunday afternoon on the outskirts of Abadiania, a Brazilian Civil Police officer told reporters.

The officer’s name could not be used under police regulations.

“I surrender to divine justice and justice on Earth,” De Faria said, according to a video released by the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo.

De Faria, 76, was to spend the night at the State Delegation of Criminal Investigations in the state capital.

He has been a faith healer for four decades in a small town in central Brazil and became famous for conducting “psychic surgeries” that he said could cure diseases, including cancer.

The allegations against De Faria first surfaced last week, with several individuals going on a Globo Television show to recount charges that he had been sexually violent with them or relatives.

After that, authorities were contacted by more than 300 other accusers, including De Faria’s adult daughter, Dalva Teixeira.

In an interview published on Friday by Brazilian magazine Veja, Teixeira said that under the pretense of mystical treatments he abused and raped his daughter between the ages of 10 and 14.

Her father stopped after she became pregnant by one of his employees, she said.

She was beaten so severely by her father that she suffered a miscarriage, Teixeira said.

“My father is a monster,” she said.

Representatives for the law office representing De Faria have said that they were not making statements on the case.

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