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Kids recall tattoos of torture • Sunday February 2, 2003

News24 (South Africa), Sep. 27, 2003
[Note: This older story included for context to current news item]

Pretoria – Three young children were able to draw exact copies of the tattoos covering the body of the alleged Satanist who abducted and tortured them, a Pretoria mother testified in the High Court on Friday.

The mother said her 7-year-old daughter and two sons, aged 9 and 11, drew pictures of the tattoos covering the body of alleged child molester Robin Classen.

This was before she was even aware of what her children had allegedly been subjected to.

“If only I realised then that these were the warning signs,” she said.

Her children knew exactly which tattoo was on which part of the man’s body and what they looked like. She had burnt the pictures because she did not want them in her home, the mother testified.

Classen, a tattoo artist, denied guilt on 10 charges, ranging from abduction to rape, indecent assault and assault.

The State alleges that between January and September 2000 he abducted the three children on numerous occasions and subjected them to Satanist rituals, which included torturing them, raping the girl and sodomising her brothers.

‘Dark thing with a knife’

All three claimed they were abducted, sometimes drugged, tortured, indecently assaulted, forced to eat insects and drink snake blood. They also said they exchanged their own blood with that of their captors in so-called soul exchange ceremonies.

All three suffered severe nightmares and were able to draw pictures of the demons they said plagued them.

The mother said the children told her about a two-metre-tall demon, which they said followed them. The children were afraid the demons would tell Classen where they lived so that he could come and kill them when he was out of jail.

The mother claimed to have witnessed her 11-year-old son attacking his brother and sister with an axe while in a trance, saying in a strange voice that the devil had instructed him to kill them.

His eyes stood stock still in his head and he spoke with a strange voice when he meditated. He claimed to have been “crowned” during one of the rituals he was subjected to.

The mother said she and her daughter had both seen a “dark thing with a knife” which threatened to kill them. The daughter also had a sign on her hand, which she said “Uncle Robby” – Classen – had drawn before abusing her. The mark turned into a “slimy black mess” and could not be removed for two days afterward.

Judge Lettie Molopa postponed the trial to January 27 next year.

Classen will remain in custody, but his advocate, Deon Hugo, indicated that he intended applying for bail before his trial resumed next year.

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