Lawyers: No Crime at Fatal Ariz. Sweat Lodge

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The deaths of three people following a sweat lodge ceremony in northern Arizona were a tragic accident — not the result of criminal negligence, said attorneys for the self-help guru who led the ceremony.

Lawyers for James Arthur Ray outlined their defense in letters to prosecutors that were released on Wednesday. The attorneys said holding a sweat lodge ceremony is not inherently criminal or unsafe, and that Ray had no reason to believe anyone would be seriously injured or die.

“Mr. Ray did not force anyone to participate, prevent anyone from leaving or brainwash participants before the sweat lodge event,” stated a Dec. 1 letter signed by Ray attorney Luis Li.

Full story: Lawyers: No Crime at Fatal Ariz. Sweat Lodge – ABC News.