Cornwall

Paganism 'not sexual', Cornish sex abuse trial told

An expert has told a child sex abuse trial that paganism involves "nothing sexual".

Jack Kemp, 69, and Peter Petrauske, 72, deny sexual assault charges against girls aged five to 14.

Some alleged victims told Truro Crown Court they were abused as part of pagan ceremonies by men purporting to be white witches.

Dr Ronald Hutton, a paganism and witchcraft specialist, said there was "nothing sexual" in the belief.

Natural world

He told the court paganism was the belief in the sacred nature of the natural world and involved nothing sexual for adults or children.

Mr Kemp, of Grenville Road, denies 15 charges of sexual assaults on girls aged five to 14.

Mr Petrauske, 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.

Previously Jason Beal, prosecuting, said some of the assaults took the form of rituals with victims' wrists tied and the use of a knife.

The case continues.

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