PORT RICHMOND — A Staten Island man was arrested for rubbing raw meat on the body of a 15-year-old girl while performing a "spiritual cleanse" in a Port Richmond apartment, prosecutors said.
Rafael Paulino, 42, was arrested on Wednesday and accused of molesting the teen in a Scribner Avenue apartment in February, the Staten Island Advance first reported.
Paulino, who described himself as a "priest" and a "spiritual cleaner," had a business card with the name "Omi Chango" on it and a picture of the face of Jesus Christ. He told authorities the ceremony was an attempt to ward off evil spirits, a law enforcement source said.
It was not clear if "Omi Chango" was a name Paulino went by, but his arrest report said Paulino had the name "Chango" tattooed on his arm.
The teen was introduced to Paulino by a relative of hers, the source said. The relative paid $121 for both of them to be cleansed, and the teen's ceremony was an effort to rid her of "an evil spirit that was making [the victim] depressed," according to court documents.
Before the victim's ceremony, Paulino told the pair "he would rub raw meat on their body and pour water on them after he had cut their clothes in order to spiritually cleanse them and that this was not for entertainment or amusement," court papers said.
However, during the cleanse, Paulino told the victim to enter the bathtub, he cut off her clothing, rubbed raw steak on her "intimate parts," then placed his mouth on her and sexually abused her, according to court documents.
The relative was not sexually abused during her cleanse, the source said.
Paulino was arraigned on Thursday and charged with aggravated sexual abuse, forcible touching and endangering the welfare of a child, according to prosecutors.
His bail was set at $15,000 and he's due back in court on March 18.
Paulino's lawyer did not immediately return requests for comments.