Beliefnet News

Convicted sexual predator Kevin Halfmann, who is scheduled to remain incarcerated at least through 2030, says his constitutional rights have been violated since Illinois state prison officials won’t permit him to study the Satanic Bible.

Halfmann’s arguments were not well-received Monday by U.S. Magistrate Judge Donald Wilkerson, according to Jesse Bogan of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

“He hobbled to the witness stand with his ankles shackled and repeated after the judge, who tried to swear him in, under oath,” reported Bogan.

“So help me God?” asked Halfmann.

“My mistake,” said Wilkerson.

“Halfmann, essentially an atheist,” writes Brogan, “testified that he needed the book to practice his religion, which, he said, primarily meant following the ritual of ‘self-happiness’ and having fun on the main holidays — one’s birthday and around Halloween.

“With Satanism, there ain’t no sin,” testified Halfmann, who is serving a sentence at the Centralia Correctional Center for predatory criminal sexual assault.

He told the court that Satanists aren’t supposed to break the law. In fact, he said that he can’t be a card-carrying member of the Church of Satan, which stresses individualism, because he has a criminal record.

The Satanic Bible, written by Anton LaVey, hasn’t been allowed in Illinois prisons since at least 1990 because of the potential to incite violence, according to testimony at the trial.

Joseph Rupcich, an attorney for the state, argued that Halfmann wasn’t prohibited from practicing his religion, but that “this book is inconsistent with prison interests.”

In particular, Rupcich cited a chapter about human sacrifice.

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