A Taoist monk groped a woman and her 15-year-old daughter on the pretext of helping them exorcize evil spirits and purify their bodies, a court in Hong Kong heard Friday.

A court heard that the unidentified victim’s friend arranged for 57-year-old Yuen Ming-kuen to visit her apartment in August 2016 after she complained about it being haunted. Yuen told her he would be performing some “Buddhist ceremonies” through which he could negotiate with the evil spirits. He then sealed the premises and groped her in the pretense of performing ceremonies, claiming that her genitals were harboring “harmful beads” that were produced by the spirits raping her, the Star reported.

Yuen then informed the woman she would require regular treatment and accordingly met her again the following month. The woman, however, had an epileptic seizure during the treatment and Yuen told her he needed to touch her for 30 minutes in order to help her get rid of the spirits that were trying to reincarnate through her body. He performed the same treatment 15 days later during which he groped her again.

The woman, however, started doubting the therapy and asked her friend to come over who witnessed him moving his hand under the victim’s shirt. During the last ritual in March 2017, the accused allegedly punched the woman when she lost control and started laughing uncontrollably during the treatment. The same day, the woman’s sleeping daughter also woke up to him groping her. Yuen, however, told her he was doing it in order to check if she was “infected by poisons” found in dead bodies. The girl informed her mother about it who then filed a police complaint.

Yuen was taken into custody the same month. During interrogation, he reportedly told the officers, “Each master practises differently. Arrest me if you considered mine unlawful,” the South China Morning Post reported.

The judge found the stories to be “ridiculous” and convicted him with “indecent assault” and “assault occasioning actual bodily harm.”

“The defendant was a dishonest man. His acts were all part of a scam," judge Terence Wai said.

During the court hearing Friday, the judge also observed that the victim’s health had deteriorated since Yuen began his treatment. The judge concluded that the woman had only “reluctantly acquiesced” to the physical touching “because she felt helpless.”

The case was ongoing and Yuen could be subjected to 10 years in prison if found guilty.

Hong kong court In this image, a security guard stands at an entrance to the Court of Final Appeal in Hong Kong, July 4, 2018. Photo: VIVEK PRAKASH/AFP/Getty Images