Girl, 6, Burned by Ma, Grams in Voodoo Ritual: Cops

The child was allegedly forced to stand naked while the accelerant was poured over her head

By Victoria Cavaliere
|  Friday, Jun 19, 2009  |  Updated 7:02 AM EDT
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Religous Ritual or Child Abuse?

The girl was treated for burns over one-quarter of her body.

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Religous Ritual or Child Abuse?

A mother in Queens is accused of setting her daughter on fire and ignoring her cries for help.
Religous Ritual or Child Abuse?
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A six-year-old girl was critically burned at the hands of her mother and grandmother during a voodoo ritual inside their home, Queens authorities said today.

The  girl, identified as Frantzcia Saintil, suffered second and third degree burns over 25-percent of her body, including her face, torso and legs, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Her mother allegedly used an accelerant to help engulf the child in flames during the February incident, Brown said.

The child was forced to stand naked while the accelerant was poured over her head and in a circle around her feet during a Haitian voodoo practice called “Loa,” authorities said.

“Despite the child’s cries for help and the severity of her injuries, both defendants are accused of failing to seek immediate medical attention for the child.  Instead, they allegedly washed her down with cold water and placed her in bed, where she was fortunately discovered the following evening by another relative,” Brown said.

Her mother, Marie Lauradin, 29, and grandmother, Sylvenie Thessier, 70, are charged with first-degree assault and endangering the welfare of a child.

The girl was placed in foster care and has suffered permanent scarring, authorities said.

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