A Gregory, Michigan man slapped his teen daughter while he and other family members allegedly tried to perform a forced exorcism on her.
William Ellis Watt, 65, was sentenced to one to ten years in prison for third-offense domestic violence Friday for the September incident, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The then-18-year-old girl was sitting on a couch watching television when Watt, his wife and son began chanting “the power of Christ compels you.” The girl’s brother began smearing plaster on her face, according to a police report. He had been repairing a wall in the house earlier in the day. The other family members tipped the couch she was sitting on and threw a reusable water bottle at her. The water bottle left a cut on her nose. The teenager left, and went to work.
When she returned home for work at night, Watt confronted her while she was eating, accusing her of stealing his food. An argument ensued, and the girl claimed Watt slapped her across the cheek. A friend picked her up, and she called the police.
Watt has maintained his innocence. According to the Detroit Free Press, he called the accusations false, said his daughter is an “arrogant” and “deceitful” teen.
“You beat up your family. When are you going to learn?” Livingston County Court Judge Miriam Cavanaugh said during the sentencing. “You can’t put your hands on your adult children. You don’t get to kick around your kids because they’re your kids.”
In 1997, Watt was charged with domestic violence for assault of a family member. He was also convicted of domestic violence in 2001 for assaulting his wife and trying to disconnect the phone when she attempted to call 9-1-1 for help. In 2004, Watt was accused of choking his then 16-year-old son, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“He clearly has earned a period of incarceration,” prosecuting attorney William Vailliencort told PEOPLE. “To have an assaultive criminal record going back 10 years, including one prior prison commitment and a number of felony convictions — it is serious.”
[Livingston County Jail]
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