(Associated Press) — Two sisters tied down and burned a 5-year-old girl, permanently disfiguring her, in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of a demon causing her to misbehave, police said. The women also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother with a machete, authorities said.
The boy said his sister was tied down on at least two occasions while the sisters blew fire over her face and cut her on the arm and in the collar area with a needle-like object, drawing blood, according to police. The girl said the women also poured over her eyes a substance that stung.
Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, of East Bridgewater, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy, the Brockton Enterprise reported . They pleaded not guilty on Jan. 29 to mayhem, assault and other charges. A public defender for the women didn’t return a call seeking comment on Saturday.
Police say the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. She has not been charged but is receiving mental health treatment.