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Police charge Brazilian spiritual healer

December 20, 2018
FILE -In this Feb. 23, 2012 file photo, self-styled spiritual healer Joao Teixeira de Faria uses scissors to perform a spiritual surgery on Rosangela Maria Benedeti's nose at the "Casa de Dom Inacio de Loyola" in Abadiania, Brazil. Police in Brazil say a special task force will investigate accusations by 10 women made on Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018, that they were sexually abused by Faria at his clinic in the central-western state of Goias. Faria has denied the accusations. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres, File)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Prosecutors say they have lodged their first charges against a Brazilian spiritual healer accused by hundreds of sex crimes.

The charge brought Thursday in the town of Abadiania accuses Joao Teixeira de Faria of sexual violation through fraud, though a judge has yet to confirm the charge.

Hundreds of people have accused the man known as John of God of sexual abuse or rape, and he surrendered to authorities on Sunday. Some of those coming forward say the crimes took place when they were children. They include his daughter

De Faria became an international celebrity from his base in rural Brazil.

Police say the investigations are complicated by the fact that many of the cases took place years ago. Current law gives victims six months to report cases of abuse.

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