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Faith Temple Apostolic Church

The 1st District Court of Appeals has upheld the conviction of Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith leader Ray Hemphill for the exorcism death of a child in Milwaukee in 2003. Hemphill lay on the chest of an 8-year-old autistic boy in an attempt to release Terrence Cottrell, Jr.’s demons. The charge was “physical abuse of a child by recklessly causing great bodily harm.” Hemphill’s attorney argued that his client was trying to help the boy, that Hemphill’s actions were an “honest error,” and that the anti-psychotic medication ziprasidone in the boy’s body was the primary cause of death. Hemphill is serving a sentence of 29 months in prison for the crime. [csr 5.3 2006]

Exorcist Sentenced
Milwaukee minister Ray Anthony Hemphill, of the Faith Temple Apostolic Church, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison and seven-and-a-half years in prison for presiding over the exorcism of an 8-year-old who died in the process. He has also been barred for trying any exorcisms for the next 10 years. The judge said extended supervision was needed to protect Milwaukee form Hemphill’s unorthodox practices. (Derrick Nunnally, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Internet, 8/17/04) [csr 3.3 2004] Faith Temple Church of the Apostolic Faith

Charged in Exorcism Death
A Milwaukee jury has found school janitor and part-time minister Ray Hemphill guilty of felony child abuse in the death of an 8-year-old autistic boy, Terrence Cottrell, Jr., from whom he tried to exorcise demonic spirits that allegedly caused the child’s autism. The death was ruled a homicide by suffocation “due to external chest compression.” [csr 3.2 2004]

Up to a dozen prayer sessions over a three-week period, according to the boy’s mother, included forcing Terrence to the floor and pinning him down with Hemphill “holding his head down, with his knee pinned across Terrence’s chest to keep him from moving.” The exorcism also reportedly included “singing, praying, and a laying on of hands while the preacher pleaded into the struggling boy’s ear for the demons to leave.” Terrence’s mother joined the church only months before her son’s death. She had hoped a higher power could help where medication had failed.[csr 3.2 2004]

The defense argued, with the support of expert witnesses, that the boy might have overdosed on the anti-psychotic drugs he was taking, and did not suffocate as a result of the preacher restraining him, as prosecution medical testimony claimed. [csr 3.2 2004]

Pastor Hemphill’s brother testified that God has the power to take life away, and with reference to his brother’s pressing his body against the boy’s during the exorcism, he said: “If I lay down on somebody and he passes away? God took him, I didn’t.” (Derrick Nunnally, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Internet, 7/5/04, 7/8/04; Lisa Sweetingham, CNN News, Court TV, Internet, 7/9/04) [csr 3.2 2004 2004]

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