There is an interesting case out of France this week where four former members of the Seventh Day Adventist Church have been arrested and charged with torture, barbarism, and kidnapping of Antoinette, a 19-year-old Cameroonian. Their defense is novel: consent. Her former boyfriend, Eric Deron, who fashions himself to be something of a prophet, insisted that they were performing an exorcism by tying her to a mattress in a crucifixion position and kept her alive with small amounts of oil and water.
Antoinette was found in a housing project emaciated, dehydrated, in a state of shock after a week of the “exorcism.” They began the exorcism after Deron said that Antoinette jumped him while babbling incomprehensibly.
The Seventh Day Adventist Church issued a statement that the man had been expelled from the Church before his arrest.
In the United States, consent defenses are not viable where the consent is to an illegal act or based on coercion or threat or mistake or secured from an individual who lacks capacity to consent. It would seem that this case raised multiple barriers to the defense.