26 Oct 2010

Indiana man going to trial in exorcism case

The Times-Mail - Indiana April 13, 2009


BLOOMINGTON — An Orange County man charged with injuring a 14-year-old Bloomington boy during an exorcism in 2007 turned down a chance to plead guilty to a less-serious charge and is on trial this week in Monroe Circuit Court.

Court officials called in 50 potential jurors today, and Monroe Circuit Court Judge Teresa Harper was questioning them individually about their ability to serve and their knowledge of the case.

Before a pretrial hearing, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Bob Miller discussed a possible plea agreement with the attorney for Eddie Uyesugi, 24, who is charged with criminal confinement and battery, both felonies. Uyesugi could have pleaded guilty to criminal confinement as a felony and been able to have the conviction amended to a misdemeanor after he completed probation.

Defense attorney Matt Blanton discussed the option with his client, who turned down the deal.

Uyesugi was a senior at Indiana University, bound for medical school, when he was arrested back in August 2007. He was the valedictorian of Paoli High School’s Class of 2003, where he played varsity basketball and tennis.

Investigators called him a “minister in training” at Bloomington’s Cherry Hill Church, where he lived at one point in the parsonage.

Police said Uyesugi believed he could cure the teen’s autism by casting out demons through a religious ritual called an exorcism.

The boy’s mother agreed to the exorcism and invited Uyesugi to her home for the event. She later reported that during the exorcism, Uyesugi beat and choked her son, causing him to vomit. The boy’s face reportedly was swollen and bruised after the ritual, which police said lasted several hours.

Uyesugi told police that the mother told him that her son had a dozen or more demons inside and that she wanted him to pray over the boy to make them leave. Uyesugi said the teen turned violent during the event, and that he was injured when Uyesugi tried to restrain him.

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