Two men have appeared in court charged with historical sex offences against children in Cornwall.
Some of the alleged victims say they were abused as part of pagan ceremonies by men purporting to be white witches, Truro Crown Court was told. Jack Kemp, 69, of Grenville Road, Falmouth, denies 15 charges of sexual assaults on girls five to 14 years old. Peter Petrauske, 72, formerly of Falmouth, denies two charges of indecent assault and one of rape.
The two men are also jointly charged with aiding and abetting an attempt to rape, which they deny. Jason Beal, prosecuting, told the court two women claimed they were assaulted by men purporting to be white witches or pagans. Mr Beal said some of the assaults took the form of rituals with victims’ wrists tied and the use of a knife.
The prosecution said when police searched Mr Petrauske’s home they discovered witchcraft paraphernalia including books, gowns and a mask.
Being mindful of the past lessons of the Satanic panic phenomenon we hope that the prosecution has more evidence to present than witchcraft paraphenalia.