A little-used law that cracks down on “pretend witchcraft” remains in force more than a century after its enactment, but cities across Canada are still crawling with sham conjurers, fake sorcerers and fraudulent psychics. “I think the rarity of the charge comes down to the rarity of people coming forward,” said Detective Constable James Turnbull of Toronto police. “You’re trying to explain to people that they’ve been victimized and they don’t believe you; they believe the guy’s power is real.” Last week, his division charged self-described “healer” Gustavo Gomez under Section 365 of the Criminal Code, an archaic law that targets “everyone who fraudulently … pretends to exercise or to use any kind of witchcraft, sorcery, enchantment or conjuration.”
By: Tristin Hopper
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