Jack Kemp and Peter Petrauske of Falmouth on trial for sexually abusing children as part of a witches coven.
TWO pensioners are accused of sexually abusing children over three decades as part of pagan ceremonies involving a coven of white witches. The trial of 69-year-old Jack Kemp, of Grenville Road, Falmouth, and Peter Petrauske, 72, who was living at The Beacon, Falmouth, until his arrest, began at Truro Crown Court on Monday. Details of the coven operating in mid- and west Cornwall were referred to as part of the case against them. Petrauske has denied raping one girl and three charges of assault, and Kemp denied aiding and abetting attempted rape and 15 charges of assault. Jason Beal, for the prosecution, told the jury the children's ages ranged between 3 and 15 years and the charges spanned a period from the late 1970s to 2009. It was revealed that Kemp had previous convictions for child abuse in 1972. When police officers began investigations, one witness told of children being told to take their clothes off and dance around "like models". Another witness, said Mr Beal, spoke of Petrauske being "really into witchcraft" and that he would refer to himself as a chief or lord. He and Kemp would go to witches' meetings, often up to three times a week, at a place near St Ives. Petrauske told police officers that he was a white witch and was the high priest of the coven, a pagan and not a Christian. The trial is expected to last at least three weeks.