Georgia couple accused of performing exorcism on teen

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.


A Lilburn, Georgia mother and her friend were arrested las week after she allegedly told police she was performing an exorcism on her 15-year-old son.

Sandra Alfred and Larry Powell were charged with Cruelty to Children. Alfred was also charged with False Imprisonment.

“Everything has been blown out of proportion,” Powell said after being released on bail.

He says he and Alfred, who recently moved in with him, were not performing an exorcism.

Asked why police would say that they were, Powell responded: “I have no idea.”

Lilburn Police say they were called to Powell’s home on June 10th.

The call came in as “an unruly juvenile” according to Lilburn Police Detective Matthew Lake.

When police arrived, they found handcuffs in the house.

“The mother said that she was trying to perform an exorcism on her child,” Det. Lake said.

When asked if she believed the boy was possessed, Lake answered “I believe she did.”

Detective Lake says the mother told police officers she and Powell handcuffed the boy for 12-hours at a time with no food or water.

Lake said this went on for three days.

Larry Powell says that’s not true.

He says the boy was trying to hurt himself and hurt them.

“He actually bit my thumb, pushed her and pulled her hair and he was a little aggressive,” Powell said.

When asked if he handcuffed the boy, Powell said: “No comment on that.”

“We prayed for him constantly, kept praying, that’s basically it,” Powell said. “No exorcism.”

The 15-year-old boy was treated at Gwinnett Medical Center and then turned over to the Department of Family and Children’s Services.

Detective Lake says the boy had some lacerations and bruises on his wrists from the handcuffs.

Lake said he also had to be treated for dehydration.

Alfred is being held in the Gwinnett County Detention Center without bond.

She has a court appearance scheduled for June 26th.

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