Woman Beaten to Death in Exorcism
EMERYVILLE, Calif. (EP) Five members of a small religious group have been charged with the beating death of a 25-year-old Korean woman, who police say was killed during a ceremony to "cast out her demons."
Kyung-A Ha reportedly died during an all-night prayer meeting held in mid-March at an apartment in Emeryville, near San Francisco. She was struck at least 100 times over a six-hour period and had 10 broken ribs, according to police, who say she lay dead in the apartment where she was killed for four days before authorities were called. Five women were arrested, including Eun Park, 30, founder of the Jesus-Amen Ministries, Park's mother Hwa Ra, 52, cult director Jung Sin, 22, and two teenage Bible college students from Russia.
Ha came to the U.S. from South Korea two months earlier to visit her sister, who concluded that she was possessed by demons and arranged to have her visit Park. Park and her mother say they "laid hands" on Ha to cast out demons. The official cause of death was listed as "blunt trauma." The death was not reported immediately because Park reportedly believed Ha's spirit would return from a journey to heaven.
According to the police detective handling the case, Park told investigators that Ha's death was "a victory for Jesus Christ."