A Dallas area pastor received a 99 year prison sentence after it was discovered she tried to rid a toddler of a demon by withholding food. According to reports, the 2-year-old wasn’t given anything to eat for nearly three weeks.
Aracely Meza was convicted Friday (March 23) of felony injury to a child causing serious bodily injury. Investigators say the boy’s parents believed a demon was inside him, and in an attempt to remove it starved Benjamin Aparicio.
Law enforcement began investigating the allegation after a member of the evangelical nondenominational church tipped off police and said the church held a resurrection gathering for the boy. Once it was discovered the boy was dead, the parents reportedly took their son to Mexico. A video of the funeral was used in court to help convict Meza. The boy was described as frail, as his clothes hung from his lifeless body.
Many of the congregants turned to Meza because she claimed to be a prophet. According to The Dallas Morning News, she performed exorcisms and ordered people to fast. Meza’s home also doubled as a commune where Benjamin’s parents lived. However, Meza separated Meza from his parents while starving the child.
The 52-year-old pastor had total control over the congregation and whenever someone questioned her and her tactics, she reportedly responded “The devil is speaking through you. You’re the devil.”
Benjamin would’ve reportedly turned three next month.