22-year-old Edward Uyesugi II of Paoli, an usher at the Cherry Hill Christian Center in in Bloomington, Indiana, faces charges of confinement and misdemeanor battery with bodily injury in the wake of an attempted exorcism of an autistic 14-year-old. The July 31st IndyChannel reports that the exorcism occurred in May in the boy’s bedroom in his family’s house. The boy’s family attended the Cherry Hill Christian Center; Uyesugi is said to have told the boy’s family that he could cure him of autism.
“(Uyesugi felt that) the boy could be prayed over and the demons could be cast out of him,” Detective Brad Swain told 6News’ Ben Morriston.
[In the exorcism,] Swain said Uyesugi “forced the boy down, punched him in the face several times, put his fingers in the boy’s throat, causing him to vomit.”
“When the family objected, Uyesugi told them that the vomit was demons being cast out,” Swain said.
After the family called the church, which the family also attended, the pastor notified authorities of the incident.
The boy’s mother told investigators that after the exorcism attempt, the boy’s face was nearly twice its normal size, and his eyes were swelled nearly shut, according to police. She told investigators that Uyesugi had pried the boy’s eyelids open when the boy attempted to close them, authorities said.
New channel WTHR also notes that Uyesugi was a pastor in training at the Cherry Hill Christian Center and has since been removed from the parsonage. While pastors at the Center would not “….comment on the alleged exorcism,” they did tell police that “while they do teach how to cast out demons, their methods don’t include violence”; the Center’s website has a “miracles” section that includes testimonies about healing from scoliosis, a stomach disorder, a blind eye, and other conditions.
The autistic teenager and his family no longer attend church at the Cherry Hill Christian Center.