Deputy reportedly preforms an exorcism and is then arrested for child abuse

Christopher Dougherty, 37. [Image credit: Orange County Sheriffs Office]

On Thursday, October 15 deputies with the Orange County Sheriff's Office responded to a call for a residential alarm.  Upon arrival they found a young girl reportedly wearing a bullet-proof vest and Kevlar helmet lying on the ground in a shooting position with a rifle.


According to the Orlando Sentinel, she told the responding officers that she and the boy with her, who 37-year-old Christopher Dougherty had allegedly preformed an exorcism on, had both been armed and told to shoot anyone that entered the house because there were demons inside.


They boy had been armed with a taser.


Inside the residence, officers found Dougherty armed with a handgun and what they reported as evidence of child abuse.  He was detained by officers before being transported to the hospital where he was placed on a hold under the Baker Act.


Upon release from the hospital Sunday, he was arrested and charged with child abuse and also fired from his position with the Orange County Sheriff's Department where he had been employed since 2006, reportedly on an unrelated matter.


“While this deputy was terminated for a pattern of unsatisfactory performance, these are very serious criminal allegations,” Sheriff John Mina said in a statement issued Monday. “As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest standards of conduct whether on duty or off duty. But we are also concerned about the deputy’s mental health.”


Dougherty appears to still be in custody within the Florida system and the matter remains under investigation.


The relationship between Dougherty and the ages of the children have not been released.