Two sisters have been accused of permanently disfiguring a five-year-old girl in a voodoo ritual meant to rid her of demons causing her to misbehave. They also threatened to cut off the head of the girl’s 8-year-old brother with a machete, authorities said.
Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, from East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, allegedly tied down the 5-year-old girl and burned her. The sisters also put stinging substances in the girl’s eyes as part of the disturbing ritual conducted at the request of the girl’s mother. LaBossiere is accused of setting a stick on fire and blowing flames over the girl’s face as her mum and Hilaire allegedly held her down.
The young girl was found by Massachusetts Police at the East Bridgewater home, reportedly with a rope tied around her waist. She was immediately rescued and rushed to hospital. The girl suffered a third-degree burn across her face that will leave her permanently disfigured, police said. She was treated at a hospital and taken into custody by state welfare authorities, along with her brother, who described to police what happened at the sisters’ house over multiple days.
Her brother, 8, reportedly told police that the voodoo sisters had his sister tied down on at least two occasions while they blew fire over her face and cut her on the arm and in the collar area with a needle-like object, drawing blood, according to police. He said the women also threatened to cut off his head with a machete. The girl said the women also poured over her eyes a substance that stung.
“The victim stated that Peggy [LaBossiere] would lean over her and kiss all around her face like a snake and used a pointy object like a needle to cut her on her arm and collar area,” according to a police report, cited by the Brockton Enterprise. “[LaBossiere] cut her enough so that she bled.”
Police say the girl’s mother is a hair stylist of Haitian descent who has LaBossiere as a client and requested the ritual. She has not been charged but is receiving mental health treatment. The mum allegedly claimed that her daughter had woken up with the burn on her face, caused by the demon leaving her body.
Police Detective John Grillo wrote in a report: “[The mum] stated that her children have been behaving badly due to evil spirits and that they perform prayers and use certain water and oils to make the demon leave.”
Peggy LaBossiere, 51, and Rachel Hilaire, 40, of East Bridgewater, denied injuring the girl and threatening the boy. They pleaded not guilty on Jan. 29 to mayhem, assault, and other charges. The sisters told police that they have performed “cleansing baths” for family and friends in the past, something that involves chanting prayers, rubbing frankincense and eucalyptus oils and sea salt on their bodies, and burning myrrh, the newspaper reported. Children sometimes get burned as spirits leave the body, they said.