Accused rapist and faith healer, João Teixeira de Faria has turned himself in to police. Prosecutors in the case say that they have received more than 350 complaints of sexual abuse against the famous spiritual healer. If convicted of his crimes, Teixeira could be the most prolific serial sexual abuser in Brazil’s history.
According to multiple reports, prosecutors issued a warrant for the arrest of Teixeira on Friday. The arrest warrant was the result of a week’s long investigation into hundreds of allegations of sexual assault and abuse.
The story first dropped in Brazil when O Globo TV aired a special on the healer. During the special close to a dozen women accused Teixeira of sexual assault or rape.
Following the show on O Globo, authorities in Brazil said they fielded over 350 complaints against Teixeira. Victims filed complaints from the United States, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and Bolivia.
When interviewed by Reuters, prosecutors said they talked to more than 30 women as a part of the investigation. During the interviews, the victims all shared similar stories about the abuse.
According to the victims’ accounts, Teixeira invited women to private spiritual healing sessions. During the individual sessions, Teixeira forced the woman to masturbate him or give him oral sex. At least one woman alleges that he raped her in a bathroom.
Perhaps the most stunning victim to come forward is Teixeira’s own daughter. Dalva Teixeira, 49, says that her father beat and raped her until she was 14 years old. When interviewed by the Brazilian press, Teixeira noted,
“He used to say that God didn’t exist, that he was God,” she told the Brazilian press.
“None of those women is lying”, said Ms Teixeira, about those who have stepped forward and accused her father of abuse. “I know because I went through it, I suffered.“
His daughter said that the abuse stopped when she became pregnant by one of her father’s employees at 14 years old. When her father found out she was pregnant, Dalva said he beat her until she miscarried.
According to prosecutors, they grew concerned that Teixeira was preparing to flee the country. Authorities learned that by Wednesday of last week, Teixeira withdrew nearly $8.9 million from multiple banks in Brazil.
When prosecutors learned of the withdrawals, they requested a warrant for his arrest. On Friday, a judge approved the arrest. The judge gave Teixeira until Saturday to turn himself in.
Teixeira missed his deadline on Saturday, and prosecutors declared him a fugitive. Earlier today Teixeira surrendered to police. Footage on Brazilian tv showed Teixeira surrendering to police on a dirt road, and he appeared weary.
He was transferred to a nearby police station. While entering the station, he was heard saying,
“I surrendered to divine justice – and, as promised, I now place myself in the hands of earthly justice”.
The 76-year-old was a famous charlatan that claimed he could heal people. Teixeira said 30 or more spirits of dead doctors enter his body and enable him to treat individuals.
Through his work, he performed visible and “invisible” surgery on patients. More than 10,000 people traveled to Brazil to see him every month.
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