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Teacher tells students to cut and burn themselves to rid demons

Posted: June 28, 2012 |   Comments

St. Petersburg, Florida -- In what St. Petersburg police are calling a weird religious ritual, they have arrested 35-year old Danielle Harkins for encouraging several teenagers to cut and burn themselves.

The cutting was said to release evil spirits from their body, and the cauterizing of the wounds with fire was to prevent the spirits from getting back in.

The event happened close to the St. Petersburg Pier downtown.

Police say only two of the teenagers were actually cut.

According to authorities, she caused second-degree burns in an attempt to "brand" one of the students' hands with a cigarette lighter. Because of windy conditions next to the pier, the flame wouldn't stay, so she poured perfume on the wound and set it on fire.

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