Stripped and burnt alive: woman dies during ritual

A Nicaraguan woman died after being burnt alive by a pastor and several of his followers in a deadly ritual of exorcism.

Pastor Juan Rocha, 23, and four others were sentenced to 30 years in prison for the murder of 25-year-old Vilma Trujillo. Three of them, including Rocha, were also convicted to six years in prison for illegally detaining the mother-of-two from February 15 to 21.

The convicted criminals insisted during their trial that Trujillo was plagued with demonic possession, denying any connection to her death.

According to eyewitness reports, the evangelical minister kept Trujillo tied without food and water in the chapel where he preaches northwest of El Cortezal.

Rocha then proceeded to burn the stripped Trujillo in a pile of burning wood. Found by relatives close to death, she was rushed to the hospital and died a week later due to severe burns.

The convicted pastor was said to have belonged to a religious group known as the Assemblies of God, but officials of the faction denied having any personal ties with Rocha.

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