Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wiccan Mom Fighting for Her Kids

HOUSTON - It was a custody court battle that had one surprise after another and at the center, Martin Ruiz and his soon to be ex-wife, Sylvia.

"They say she is a witch in a bad way," Silvia said.

Sylvia and Martin have been married for 20 years with three children, but things started to change and so did Sylvia's religion.

She converted from Catholicism to Wiccan.

"Nobody can tell me what to do or what to believe," she said.

Martin wants custody of their three children because of her religion.

Silvia accuses family court of scrutinizing her more because of her religious choice. That's why, without notice, she fired her attorney on the spot, asked Judge Robert Newey to recuse himself, and tried to fire her children's attorney.

"I've been a good mother and they have nothing to put on me, some spot on my name as a mother," she said.
Martin is a practicing Catholic and the most he has at his home is a shrine to the Virgin Mary, but he said it’s what his wife has that frightens him and his children.

Sylvia has a Wiccan shop and make-shift temple in the back of their Spring Branch home.

Martin took us inside and there were pentagrams, oils, powders, bones and an assortment of items I couldn't describe.
"Crazy people come here to see her and my kids are here and that's what I don't like," he said.

He said Sylvia charges for various Wiccan-type services, including $60 Tarot Card readings and $200 exorcisms.

He also said people lie on the floor nude while being treated for spiritual ailments. That’s why he doesn’t want this around his kids.

Silvia said there's nothing wrong with her choice of religion and accuses Martin of being an absentee father for the past 15 years.

"I would say he was with us five years because he worked out of state. He'd go to Mexico," she said.

Because Sylvia fired her attorney and asked the judge to step down, it may be quite some time before this case is resolved.

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