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Holiday man tried exorcism on 80-year-old girlfriend, deputies say

Published Sep. 18, 2013

HOLIDAY — A 54-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after, deputies say, he held down his 80-year-old girlfriend and tried to perform an exorcism.

The alleged exorcism started Monday. David Edward Benes and his live-in girlfriend of three years got into a fight, a Pasco Sheriff's report states. He grabbed her, held her down and told her he was trying to "exorcise her and get the devil out of her."

At some point, Benes took batteries out of the house phones to keep her from calling for help, the report states. He confiscated her car keys and rigged the garage door to keep it from opening. Eventually she fell asleep, according to the report, and on Tuesday the exorcism began again.

It was unclear who contacted authorities, but deputies found Benes' girlfriend sitting outside the home crying. She had bruised and scratched arms. Benes was on the couch too drunk to remember what happened, the report states. He told deputies his girlfriend started the fight "because she is crazy."

Benes, of 2633 Albion St., was arrested on charges of domestic battery on a person 65 or older, tampering with a witness and false imprisonment. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday without bail. Records show he's been convicted of battery twice in Pasco County and once of violating a domestic violence injunction.

Contact Alex Orlando at aorlando@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6247.

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