Couple accused of using drugs and witchcraft to lure teen into sexual relationship

SANTA MARIA – Santa Maria police arrested a couple accused of using sex and drugs and the Wicca religion to lure a 15-year-old girl into a world of seduction.

30-year-old Sean Pelino and his wife, 28-year-old Rachelle Pelino, are being held on $250,000 each.

Detectives say the couple was in a long term sexual relationship with the girl.

Officers served a search warrant at the couple’s apartment last week in Santa Maria and at another apartment in Grover Beach.

At that time, police also took the couple’s two young children and turned them over to Social Services.

Police served another search warrant Wednesday afternoon at the apartment on Bethel Lane in Santa Maria, near Liberty Elementary School.


Witchcraft, or Wicca, is a form of neo-Paganism. It is officially recognized as a religion by the U.S. government.

This is a diverse movement that knows no central authority. Practitioners do not all have the same views, beliefs and practices.

While all witches are pagans, not all pagans are witches. Likewise, while all Wiccans are witches, not all witches are Wiccans.

Note: The Witchcraft news tracker includes news items about a wide variety of diverse movements reported in the media as ‘witchcraft.’

Officers took the man and woman into custody at their home.

Detectives say a tip from a relative of the victim sparked the investigation two months ago.

“She (the victim) was a willing participant, if you will,” said Santa Maria Police Sgt. Dan Ast.

“She was lured into this couple’s grasp through the Wicca religion and utilizing ceremonial witchcraft and drugs — both marijuana and Ecstacy — to lower her inhibitions.”

Detectives have not ruled out there could be other victims.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday July 13, 2007.
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