YORK — A Maine man serving 30 years for murder is asking a federal judge to force the Maine State Prison to let him practice Satanism with other inmates.

In a complaint in U.S. District Court in Portland, Joshua Cookson says he’s allowed to practice Satanism in his cell, but that he wants to do so in the activities building where group practices of other religions take place.

Prison officials have denied his requests, saying Satanism espouses violence.

A magistrate judge this month filed a recommendation against Cookson’s request. Cookson has filed an objection, which will considered when federal Judge John Woodcock makes a final decision.

The Portsmouth Herald reported that Cookson was convicted for fatally shooting Robin Rainville of Portsmouth, N.H., in 1999 in Cookson’s mobile home in York.


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