Toronto man charged with pretending to use witchcraft
WITCHCRAFT is real? Maybe. The Toronto judiciary has charged Gustavo Valencia Gomez, 40, of Mississauga, with breaking Section 365 of the Criminal Code, which prohibits anyone pretending to “exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.”
Is the law there to protect genuine sorcerers?Gomez allegedly told a 56-year-old Toronto woman that for a mere $14,000 he could rid her of a curse. The woman had seen Mr. Gomez’s advert in Spanish language newspaper el Negocia Redondo. Police say: “Using spells and rituals, the man convinced the woman that she and her family were cursed and that he could remove the curse for a sum of money.” Gomez will appear in a Toronto court on Dec. 28.
Aside from witchcraft, Section 365 also prohibits undertaking “for a consideration, to tell fortunes.” The measure technically outlaws Toronto’s many professional psychics, Tarot card readers and astrologers, but accused soothsayers can easily avoid a fraud conviction by testifying that they actually believe they can see into the future. “The offence is only committed if the practice is undertaken ‘fraudulently,’ which the law usually defines as involving the intentional and dishonest putting of another person’s interests at risk,” wroteLaw Now magazine in a 2011 issue.
So. Witchcraft exists or doesn’t exist? Is it all just a question of what you believe? How can you pretend to do something that is inherently fraudulent?