Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, have arrested a popular teacher in a bizarre alleged crime. Danielle Harkins, 35, is accused of telling students that they have demons inside them and that the only way to be rid of them is to cut themselves and then burn the wounds. They proceeded to do so and she is now charged with child abuse.
Police allege that Harkins met six boys and one girl in a park near the St. Petersburg Pier where they built a fire and started to chant and dance around it. She then allegedly started the cutting and burning. In one case, she is accused of pouring perfume on a kid when the lighter went out in the wind and then lighting the perfume on fire. He suffered second degree burns. Harkins was a teacher at the Lealman Asian Neighborhood Family Center. She is recently divorced in June and has two children, a four-year-old daughter and a three-year-old son. (I am going to go out on the limb and predict that the ex-husband is likely to have no problem on custody in the future).
She is reportedly as having taken a recent interest in extreme religions and referred to this process as how to “get rid of an evil tick.”
If convicted without a plea agreement, sentencing could be particularly harsh given her position of authority.
Source: Daily Mail