Court told of 'witches coven' sex abuse ritual on Cornwall children
Members of a so-called "witches' coven" donned ceremonial robes and used daggers as part of ritualistic sex abuse on young girls, a court has heard.
Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have been involved in a pagan group from the 1970s onwards, in which children said they were plied with alcohol before being made to undress in front of a crowd of men wearing robes.
The victims, from Cornwall, were then abused by their tormentors, before being given money and sweets to buy their silence, the court was told.
The abuse was only investigated further by police last year when Kemp was arrested in connection with another incident, causing rumours to spread around his home town of Falmouth and prompting the alleged victims of the historic offences to contact detectives.
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The pair deny a string of sexual offences, including assault and, in Petrauske's case, rape.
Kemp, 69, and Petrauske, 72, known as "German Pete", were said to have been involved in a "white witch coven", Truro Crown Court heard.
Prosecutor Jason Beal said some of the assaults, in Cornwall, took the form of rituals with the young girls' wrists tied.
He also said a dagger had been involved and wax poured onto the bodies, according to testimony from some of the victims.
The court heard one witness tell police that Petrauske claimed to be involved "in a coven of white witches".
Mr Beal said: "She was taken to a house where pagans were present, Jack Kemp was present and "German Pete" was also there. She was given alcohol, told to dance in front of the camera, and take her clothes off.
"She was given £5 and a bag of sweets."
When Petrauske was arrested last year, detectives discovered daggers, sheets, candles, incense and lavender, the court heard.
Petrauske apparently told police he was "the high priest of a white witch coven".
Both men deny the allegations. They involve a number of young victims, the youngest aged somewhere between three and five, the court heard.
The trial of both men is due to last for around four weeks.