Dutch choreographer unveils Brazilian sex abuse scandal

#metoo me too
The "Me Too" hashtag gained prominence as a way for victims and witnesses to identify personal accounts of sexual misconduct. (image: NL Times)

Hundreds of women accused Brazilian spiritual healer and medium João Teixeira de Faria of sexual abuse and rape. Prosecutors in Brazil have now received over 200 hundred declarations against the 76-year-old man. Dutch choreographer Zahira Lieneke Mous was the first to come out and speak against the man, AD reports.

In Brazil De Faria is known as João de Deus, or John of God. He's been active as a spiritual healer and medium since 1976 and provided spiritual support to multiple Brazilian presidents. He holds 'healing ceremonies' and 'spiritual operations' in his home in Abidiânia, about 100 kilometers from the Brazilian capital of Brasilia. Hundreds of thousands of people come to him every year. 

Multiple women now accused De Faria of taking them to a separate room during public spiritual sessions and then sexually abusing them. One is 34-year-old Dutch woman Mous. She wrote about the abuse on Facebook four years ago and recently again told her story on a talk show on TV Globo. She told the talk show host that she "really believed" in De Faria and his methods. He told her he could teach her to help others as a medium, she said. She first sought De Faria out to help her process sexual trauma, Mous said. But he forced her to masturbate him and later raped her, she said. 

In 2010 a 10-year-old girl accused De Faria of molesting her, but he was not prosecuted because the court said there was not enough evidence, according to the newspaper. 

One of the five prosecutors involved in this case said that they received over 200 charges ranging from "more than 10 years old" to "more recently". Another prosecutor said that De Faria is accused of sexual abuse and rape, among other things, according to AD. The spiritual healer himself denies all accusations. 

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