Durham, N.C. — A Durham couple whose crimes were linked to Satan worship pleaded to misdemeanor charges and will serve probation, a defense attorney said.
Joseph Scott Craig, his wife, Joy Johnson, 30, and Dianna Palmer, 44, of Cottage Woods Court, were charged last year after a man and a woman told police they were beaten, shackled to beds, kept in dog cages and starved inside a home on Albany Street.
The case against Palmer was dismissed in January.
Prosecutors said the victims met Craig through a shared interest in Satan worship, but that they never consented to physical abuse.
Pair’s pleas end sex assault case
A 2008 Durham case marked by sensational accounts of Satanism and sadomasochism appears to have wound to a close with best-interest misdemeanor pleas by a man first charged with rape and kidnapping, and by a woman charged with letting those crimes happen.
Durham defense attorney Woody Vann said the pleas were entered and approved Nov. 17 in Superior Court. The action brought an apparent end to a case that included testimony that defendants and victims lived in the same house, brought together by a mutual interest in Satanism.
“The evidence doesn’t support a criminal conviction,” Vann said Friday. “We had adults involved in consensual activities, and they didn’t make any effort to report these to law enforcement until months later.”