Aug. 30 (UPI) -- A South Korean woman who spent nearly $500,000 on spiritual services from a traditional shaman will not be recouping her money, despite claims her "adviser" may have tricked her client.
Shim Hyeong-seop, the presiding judge on the case in a Seoul district court, said Friday it is inconclusive whether the defendant, 45, had cheated her client of money, EDaily reported.
The plaintiff, with the surname Lee, was told by the defendant to "set free the unresolved sadness" of two aborted twins, more than three decades after the operation.
Setting their spirits free would be a solution to her current situation that included a struggling family business, according to the report.
The defendant told Lee the aborted twins were "pouring punishment on her existing children" and that the only way to absolve the guilt was to periodically conduct a shamanistic ritual to provide consolation for the spirits of the deceased, according to the report.
The ritual is typically conducted one to three times, but over the course of several years Lee paid for more than 100 such rituals.
The defendant also may have sent the plaintiff several text messages imitating baby talk, as if channeling the spirits of the dead.
The messages "assured" Lee the babies were "eating mighty well."
During the holidays, Lee would receive text messages from her unborn children, wishing her a "Merry Christmas," according to court records.
Lee said in her testimony she found comfort in the messages, and used the defendant's services from 2010 to 2015, spending a total of half a million dollars to regain confidence her unborn children "still loved her."
Prosecutor's requests for a guilty verdict were turned down last week, following the decision from a local court that likened the services Lee received to therapy and counseling.
"In the midst of a difficult situation with her children and her husband, Lee had been trying to gain assurance from a shaman. Kang [the defendant] did not trick her but Lee agreed to go ahead with the shamanistic rituals," the court said.