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Dallas pastor draws 99 years in prison for starving a toddler to death to cleanse ‘demon’

Aracely Meza, 52, was convicted of felony injury to a child with serious bodily injury after investigators say she and Benjamin Aparicio, the parents believed the toddler was possessed by a demon and the only way to get rid of him would be too fast.

(Dallas County Jail)

A Dallas pastor was sentenced to 99 years in prison on Friday for starving a child to death after they believed it was the only way to exorcise a “demon” from the body of the boy.

The pastor, Aracely Meza, 52, was convicted of felony injury to a child with serious bodily injury; researchers say that both she and the parents of the toddler, Benjamin Aparicio, believed he was possessed by a demon and could only get rid of it by fasting.

Prosecutors say the boy was denied food for three weeks.

Videos were shown in court, with an image of a resurrection ceremony led by Meza where she is seen holding the weak, lifeless body of Aparicio, The Dallas Morning News reported.

Jurors were shown a video of the Meza spanking the toddler, who appeared unable to support his own head, then he fell on the kitchen floor.

Aparicio died on 22 March 2015.

Meza testified that she would be on God’s command.

She was sentenced to 99 years in prison and was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. The boy of the parents, who are also faced with the costs, are assumed to be in Mexico, the newspaper.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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