Ex-Florida sheriff’s deputy performed exorcism on child, armed another with rifle, officials say

Ex-Florida sheriff’s deputy accused of performing exorcism on child, arming another with rifle

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A former Florida sheriff’s deputy is out of a job and facing a child abuse charge after investigators accused him of performing an exorcism on a child and giving a rifle to another, telling her to fire it at anyone who came into his Orange County home.

According to WFTV, Christopher Dougherty, 37, who had been an Orange County sheriff’s deputy since 2006, was arrested Sunday, days after investigators said they discovered evidence of child abuse while responding to his apartment.

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A girl at the scene claimed that Dougherty had given her a rifle, Kevlar helmet and bulletproof vest, along with instructions to shoot anyone who came inside, WFTV reported. He also is accused of performing an exorcism on a different child, the arrest warrant said.

Deputies took Dougherty to a nearby hospital, “where he was held under the Baker Act,” according to WFTV. Authorities arrested him after his release, the news outlet reported.

Citing “unsatisfactory performance finding in a separate matter,” the Orange County Sheriff’s Office also fired Dougherty on Sunday, WFTV reported.