Spiritual Advisor Sentenced for Pitchfork Beating

Man struck her on the shoulders, hips and buttocks

Friday, Feb 6, 2009  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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Spiritual Advisor Sentenced for Pitchfork Beating

Judges sentences North Bay man for pitchfork attack

In a scenario right out of a horor film, a spiritual advisor has been sentenced to three years probation for a violent incident where he used a pitchfork to "beat the devil" out of a woman.

Judge Rene Auguste Chouteau sentenced Benjamin Anthony Horn to a year in the Sonoma County jail with credit for time served.

A jury deliberated just over two hours before convicting Horn of the misdemeanor charge Wednesday, Sonoma County District Attorney Stephan Passalacqua said.

After a preliminary hearing in January, Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Lawrence Antolini reduced the felony domestic violence charge to  a misdemeanor, Passalacqua said.

Passalacqua said the female victim was previously romantically involved with Horn, 39, who was living in a barn on her Santa Rosa property.

Horn was acting as the woman's spiritual advisor and on Dec. 21 he inflicted large bruises on her as he struck her with a pitchfork on the  shoulders, hips and buttocks to beat the devil out of her as she kneeled on  the floor, Passalacqua said.

Horn said the woman had been using her negative energies to attack him and he had to "correct" her, Passalacqua said.

Before the woman went to the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department's sub-station in Roseland on Dec. 23, Horn threatened to beat her again, Passalacqua said.

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