Three Satan-worshiping high school boys drugged, raped, tortured and murdered a 15-year-old girl in hopes a virgin sacrifice would earn them “a ticket to hell,” prosecutors said Thursday.
Elyse Pahler’s body was found in March at what prosecutors believe was an altar to Satan in a eucalyptus grove outside of San Luis Obispo.
Jacob W. Delashmutt, 16, Joseph Fiorella, 15, and Royce E. Casey, 17, were arrested March 14. They are being held on charges of murder, gang involvement, rape, torture and conspiracy.
Elyse disappeared July 22 and had been listed as a missing person until Casey came forward and led authorities to her body, Deputy District Attorney Dan Bouchard said. She was slain the night she left her house, Bouchard said.
The boys “selected and stalked her believing that she was a virgin and that her sacrifice would earn them a ‘ticket to hell,”’ Bouchard said.
Prosecutors refused to say how the girl was tortured or how she was killed.
The boys allegedly had a knife when they took Elyse to the apparent altar, which prosecutors would not describe. There, prosecutors said, she was drugged, a belt was put around her neck and she was raped and tortured.
According to court papers, the boys “formed a musical band to glorify Satan. To enhance their musical ability to worship Satan and thereby earn a ‘ticket to hell,” they discussed the need for human sacrifice.”
“To glorify Satan and commit the ‘ultimate sin’ against God, (they) selected a virgin … to sacrifice,” prosecutors said.
Casey’s attorney Kevin McReynolds said: “A lot of the allegations are grossly overstated and some of them are flatly without any factual support whatsoever. Our view is that many of these allegations are intended to inflame public opinion and we look forward to the hearing.”
A hearing is set for June 12 to determine whether the teenagers will be tried as adults.
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