Jail term cut in voodoo death appeal

AMSTERDAM — A 24-year-old woman was sentenced on Wednesday in the Leeuwarden Appeals Court to 18 months jail for assaulting a five-year-old girl during a voodoo-like ritual. Intended to rid the victim of the devil, the ritual killed the girl.

The Groningen woman, identified as D. P., had previously been sentenced to a three-year jail term, a nu.nl news report said.

The girl died in April 2002 after a so-called brua-ritual, a variant of voodoo which is practiced in the Netherlands Antilles. P and the victim’s mother were convinced the child had been possessed by the devil and the ritual was designed to rid her of the evil presence.

The appeals court acquitted P of manslaughter, but convicted her of assault and because she has already been in detention for 18 months, the woman will now be released. The prosecution had demanded a three-year jail term.

Earlier this year, the Groningen Court sentenced the girl’s 25-year-old mother, D. D., to a three-year jail term and conditional TBS psychiatric treatment. She decided against appealing.

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