A Dallas-area pastor who investigators say ordered that food be withheld from a toddler in order to rid him of a demon has been sentenced to 99 years in prison in the child’s 2015 starvation death.
The Dallas Morning News reports that a jury on Friday convicted 52-year-old Aracely Meza of felony injury to a child causing serious bodily injury.
Investigators say Meza and the boy’s parents believed the 2-year-old had a demon inside him and that fasting would save him. Prosecutors believe Benjamin Aparicio was denied food for more than three weeks.
Police began investigating after receiving a tip that congregants at the evangelical nondenominational church had held a failed resurrection ceremony before the parents took the body to their native Mexico. Video of that ceremony was shown at the trial.