BLOOMINGTON, Indiana—A 22-year-old Japanese American theological student surrendered to Monroe County Sheriff’s Department today to face charges that he severely beat an autistic boy, 14, at the boy’s home here May 27.
Reports NBC affiliate WTHR-TV:
Police say 22-year-old Edward Uyesugi II, a pastor in training at Cherry Hill Christian Church, promised healing for a 14-year-old autistic boy. Uyesugi convinced the boy’s mother he could cure autism with an exorcism.”Through prayer, casting demons out,” said Det. Swain. “She was initially in agreement in doing this thinking it was something authorized through the church.”But police say the exorcism turned violent, and that Uyesugi, under the guise of “God’s work,” battered and beat the boy.
The suspect, reportedly the valedictorian of the Paoli High School class of 2003, is the son of prominent optometrist Dr. Edward F. Uyesugi, Jr. Listed as 6-1 and 175, Uyesugi plays NCAA Division II tennis and basketball for the Earlham College “Hustlin’ Quakers.”
Also part of the suspect’s pedigree is that his father and grandfather are both graduates of the Quaker college. His grandfather Edward T. Uyesugi and granduncle Newton Uyesugi were two of about 20 Japanese American internees accepted for studies by Earlham during World War II.
Dr. Edward Uyesugi, Sr. established the Uyesugi Japanese American Collection at Earlham before his death in 1989. His wife, the former Ruth Farlow, is a 1999 inductee to the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame.
Pastors at Cherry Hill church wouldn’t comment on the alleged exorcism. But they told police while they do teach how to cast out demons, their methods don’t include violence.
The church removed Uyesugi from the parsonage after the incident. He claimed to police he was simply trying to restrain the boy, but the attempted exorcism left the teen seriously injured.