A Tel Aviv man spent years sexually and physically abusing his four stepdaughters, telling them he was possessed by angels who forced him to carry out the acts, police said on Thursday.

The abuse, which police called “a severe case of physical and sexual abuse,” took place over three years, during which the man allegedly beat, starved and had sex with the four girls, now aged 15, 17, 19, and 20.

The man would, allegedly, smear blood and feces on the girls for his entertainment, according to police.

During the abuse, the man reportedly told the girls that he was speaking to angels that entered his body and forced him to carry out the abuse. He told the girls that the angels were telling him that they had to perform sex acts on him as some sort of “treatment.”

Investigators said Thursday that the girls believed the man, one of them to the extent that she refused to cooperate with police.

The case broke recently when the girls went to visit their grandparents and told relatives about the abuse. At that point the stepfather was arrested and brought in for questioning.

Police determined that the mother, who originally said she was not aware of the abuse, knew the abuse was taking place. However, they said they view her as a victim, not an accomplice.

On Thursday morning the step-father was taken for a remand hearing at the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, where he was ordered to be kept in custody for eight days.

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