Faith healers?

Two men in California are arrested for allegedly conning girls into having sex with them.

By Jack Boulware

Published November 27, 2000 8:30PM (EST)

In Mexican culture a curandero, or faith healer, uses prayers, chants and songs to nurse sick people back to health. Two central California con men may have interpreted this definition to also include "sexual healing." They are accused of having deceived gullible young women into having sex with them to avoid being contaminated by evil spirits. If the girls refused, the men reportedly told them they would become ill, or even die. Authorities have arrested the two men, and believe that the strange sex scam has been going on for at least 12 years.

According to Kings County Chief Deputy District Attorney Patrick Hart, the investigation began in 1998, after a man took his two teenage daughters to a curandero named Fernando Magdalano Flores, hoping to restore the younger daughter's virginity. Flores allegedly used elaborate means to seduce his victims. He reportedly placed eggs on the girls' stomachs, and told them that if the eggs were heavy, there were evil spirits in their bodies. These spirits could be released, he allegedly said, only if the girls went into another room, stripped off their clothing and allowed him to have sex with them.

Occasionally, Flores would not have sex with his victims, said authorities, but would call in a surrogate curandero, his friend Jose Angel Carranza Ojeda. "Flores kind of set him up with the girl," Hart told the Fresno Bee. "He would tell her he was busy. But he had this other guy who would take over for the day, and then Ojeda would have sex with her."

Local authorities arrested Flores Nov. 1, and last week he was reunited in jail with his horny pal, Ojeda. Both are being held on multiple charges of rape and unlawful sexual intercourse. If convicted, they face several years in prison.

The Kings County Sheriff's Department now receives calls daily from women claiming to have been raped by Flores. "We've even had phone calls come in from out of state regarding this case," said Senior Deputy Tom Wilcox. "We're going to continue investigating every call we get."

Jack Boulware

Jack Boulware is a writer in San Francisco and author of "San Francisco Bizarro" and "Sex American Style."

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