A man and his son have been arrested after allegedly kidnapping his ex-wife and forcing her to undergo an exorcism in Stockton.
Jose Magana-Farias, 42 and his son, Victor Farias, 20, arranged to meet with his ex-wife and mother of the son at a Wal-Mart in north Stockton on Saturday under the pretense of trying to make the marriage work, San Joaquin sheriff’s Lt. Mike Jones told KCRA-TV.
But after getting into the car, the men allegedly picked up two priests before forcing the woman to undergo an exorcism, Jones said. The men apparently believed drastic changes she’d made in her life were a sign that she was possessed by demons.
The woman was allegedly doused with sacred oil and “purified” during a religious ritual, according to KCRA-TV, which cited a deputy’s report. No torture was involved and the woman was found physically unharmed after the victim’s roommate reported the alleged kidnapping.
A neighbor described Magana-Farias as a doting father to his two middle school-aged children, adding that the ex-wife had recently been visiting the Stockton home and the children for weeks at a time. The couple had reportedly divorced about a year ago.
“He’s a real nice guy. He works every day — six days a week.… [You] just don’t expect something like that,” the neighbor told Fox 40.
The father and son are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. In addition to kidnapping and false imprisonment charges, Magana-Farias was also jailed on a detainment order from the U.S. Border Patrol, Fox 40 reported.