Hundreds of women have accused famed Brazilian spiritual healer Joao Teixeira de Faria of sexual assault. A report aired by O Globo TV last week shared stories of ten women accusing the healer of sexual assault and rape. Since the show aired, more than 400 women have filed complaints with prosecutors around Brazil.
On December 8th, O Globo, a news program in Brazil, aired a show where nearly a dozen women accused Faria of sexual assault or rape. One of the women interviewed was Zahira Leeneke Maus. Maus, a Dutch photographer, told O Globo that Faria manipulated her into performing sex acts on him and raped her.
Maus said that in a private session with Faria he forced her to masturbate him. Then in another session, she claims Faria raped her in a bathroom.
Other women interviewed by O Globo told the paper that Faria forced them to perform oral sex or sexually assaulted them. The nine women, who remained anonymous, stated Faria told them the sexual acts allowed him to transfer “cleansing energy” to them.
Following the report on the 8th, police in Abadiania say that they have received more than 450 complaints from other women with the same allegations. Many of the claims are from women that are outside of Brazil.
In 2013, Oprah Winfrey aired an episode on the controversial spiritual healer. Faria told Oprah that spirits from more than 30 dead doctors and healers live inside him. These spirits enable him to perform surgeries and heal patients even though he’s not a licensed doctor. Faria performs invisible and visible operations on patients.
After the episode aired, thousands of people from around the world traveled to Abadiania, Brazil to see the healer. ABC estimates that in over 30 years more than 30 million people have traveled to Brazil. 40% of the people that visit are from other countries.
Faria is no stranger to legal issues. In 2012, Faria was investigated for charges of sexual abuse against a minor child. He’s also faced charges for practicing medicine without a license.
With more than 450 allegations of sexual assault by Faria, police in the small Brazilian town say they are swamped. The investigation into the claims will take time as they work through each one.
Prosecutors in Sao Paolo say they have received 252 complaints against Faria. In the state of Goias, where Abadiania is located, prosecutors have received 206 complaints.
Meanwhile, the tiny town that has become a tourist hotspot to see the famed healer is nervous about losing the tourism revenue from individuals that travel to visit Faria. There are an estimated 10,000 people that come through the town every month to see him.
Despite the allegations, Faria continues to see clients and is available for healing sessions. His spokeswoman insists he is doing fine and he’s calm about everything.
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