Meanwhile In Salem: Witch Wins Court Order Against Warlock

Witch priestess Lori Sforza holds a certificate of baptism as she returns to her seat after testifying in district court on Wednesday. Photograph: Pat Greenhouse/AP
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Fortune teller Lori Bruno Sforza wins court order against New Orleans warlock who she claimed harassed her for years with internet posts and late-night calls.

 Witch priestess Lori Sforza holds a certificate of baptism as she returns to her seat after testifying in district court on Wednesday. Photograph: Pat Greenhouse/AP

Witch priestess Lori Sforza holds a certificate of baptism as she returns to her seat after testifying in district court on Wednesday. Photograph: Pat Greenhouse/AP

In a city where accused witches were once jailed and hanged, witch Lori Bruno Sforza emerged victorious from a Salem, Massachusetts, courtroom on Wednesday, proclaiming justice served for women everywhere.

Sforza, a 75-year-old fortune teller, won a court order against New Orleans warlock Christian Day whom she claimed has harassed her for years with late-night phone calls and vicious internet posts.

“He called me the C-word,” Sforza testified about the warlock she says she once treated as a son.

Wearing a long black coat and necklaces of pentacles, Sforza steadied herself with a cane topped by a silver skull. She told the judge she could see her own future and that she is afraid of Day, who she claims hissed the word on the phone and hung up multiple times.

Day, who wore a blue suit and has dark hair tinged purple, protested Judge Robert A Brennan’s decision ordering him to have no contact with the witch or face up to two and half years in prison.

“On everything that is holy, I did not make those calls,” Day said, before storming out of the courtroom and vowing an appeal.

He did not testify in his own defense.

“This is a business dispute and everything she said about me is a lie,” Day said outside the courthouse.

No phone records or recordings linking him to the calls were offered as evidence.

Christian Day, right, a self-described warlock, sits with his attorney in district court on Wednesday. Photograph: Pat Greenhouse/AP

He admitted he has been ordered by other courts to stop making harassing calls to different women but said those cases were long ago.

The witch vs warlock showdown occurred at time when thousands of tourists are flocking to Salem to celebrate Halloween and learn about the infamous colonial-era trials in which 20 people were accused of witchcraft and executed in the 1690s.

Day’s business ventures in Salem have long drawn criticism from some followers of wicca, or modern-day pagan witchcraft, for being too commercial. His website proclaims him “The World’s Most Famous Warlock”, and his Twitter tagline describes him as “Warlock. Drama Queen. Bitch.”

He built a business empire in Salem of witch shops and tours and launched a month-long psychic parlor where tourists have their tarot cards read while munching kettle corn.

Sforza testified the harassment began three years ago when she quit working for him and opened her own boutique called Magika on the Salem waterfront, where America’s spice trade began in the 17th century.

Two of her friends testified when the witch worked in warlock’s store, they heard him call her vulgar sexist obscenities. One man testified he confronted Day about “elder abuse” and Day retaliated by threatening to kick Sforza out.

“I am a woman. I am not somebody’s footstool,” Sforza said on the witness stand, casting a regal presence with a ruby-colored jewel pinned atop her black knit hat.

At her own store, Sforza does psychic readings and also founded a church. Her husband is a disabled Vietnam war veteran and her adult son lives with them, she said.

An ugly cartoon of her and an insulting internet posting involving her son was the final straw that propelled her into court in September seeking the order against Day. “He said my son despises me,” she told the court, explaining her son denied it.

Day said he was unable to present a strong defense because his lawyer called in sick and was “throwing up on his suit”. He asked to delay the hearing but the judge refused.

The warlock found a lawyer in the hallway to represent him and he had only two hours to prepare.

His attorney Paul R Moraski argued the matter was a business falling-out and implied Sforza might have brought the matter as a publicity stunt. He said she is a public figure, who just like GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump can be lampooned on the internet.

“I’m not Donald Trump,” Sforza shot back.

Judge Brennan said he found her testimony “heartfelt and credible”, and admonished the warlock to chose his words more carefully.

“You called her repeatedly and used a word that really no one should use toward any other person, a young woman or an elderly woman,” the judge said.

The fortune teller said she knew the judge would rule in her favor. She predicted it.

Source: theguardian.com

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