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Sea death man Peter Solheim named in sex abuse case

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: December 01, 2012

Peter Solheim

Please note some readers might find the details of this case distressing.

A murdered man has been sensationally named in a current court case as sexually abusing a young girl amid a witches' coven and pagan ceremonies.

Peter Solheim, 56, a former parish councillor, was tortured before being thrown alive into seas off the Cornish coast in 2004.

Although his partner Margaret James, from Porthoustock on The Lizard, was later jailed for 20 years for conspiracy to murder, her co-conspirators have so far escaped justice.

At Truro Crown Court this week, Peter Petrauske, 72, and Jack Kemp, 69, face charges of sexually abusing children during pagan ceremonies from the 1970s onwards. The two friends deny a series of sexual offences, including assault and, in Petrauske's case, rape.

In a new twist in the case, jurors yesterday watched a video interview with one of the alleged child victims who is now a grown woman. She said Mr Solheim raped her when she was aged around ten years old and it was only years later that she recognised him when his photograph was shown on television when he was murdered.

The woman told the court she was taken to a "massive" house she thought was near Hayle, West Cornwall, where there was an area with big stones and a fire in the middle of a wood.

She described people chanting and dressed in "gown things" with hoods, similar to Klu Klux Klan gowns with necklaces.

The woman said: "I was taken into a big house and upstairs.

"There was a weird, incensey smell and I passed rooms where there were chains coming off the backs of the beds, and whips.

"I was in a room where there was a big double bed with ropes coming off it, and a black whip with star things on the ends.

"I was scared. He tied ropes around my feet, they were really tight, hurting. He slapped me across the face. His eyes were looking evil."

The woman added: "I didn't recognise the man until a few years ago when he was on the television because he had been murdered. It was Peter Solheim."

According to her evidence, Petrauske was at the centre of proceedings. She described him as the "high priest".

Kemp was also said to be present at the gatherings.

She went on to talk about a number of occasions when the two men allegedly sexually abused her.

The trial continues.

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