30 Dec 2008

Cult leader sentenced to 18 years

KRQE - New Mexico December 30, 2008

Bent calls verdict crucifixion
LAS VEGAS, N.M. (KRQE) - Cult leader Wayne Bent was sentenced on Tuesday to 18 years in prison for molesting a young follower.
Eight years of Bent's sentence were suspended, making the effective sentence 10 years unless the suspension is revoked.
Before the sentencing, the self-proclaimed messiah said in an online posting that the courts have again crucified the son of God.
Wayne Bent faced a mandatory minimum sentence of three years and up to 18 years after being found guilty by a jury in Taos on Dec. 15. He was convicted of one of two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Bent, 67, admitted lying naked with the two girls in 2006 but said any touching was an act of religious healing with no sexual overtones.
Bent is the leader of the Lord our Righteousness Church which also refers to its remote Union County compound northwest as Strong City.
Shortly after the verdict he told reporters he had been falsely convicted. Since then he's posted a statement on the group's Web site that printed out to 17 pages.
By convicting him jurors have assured their day of destruction, he wrote.
"Now at Christmas time 2008 ... they have crucified the son of God afresh," Bent added. "The jury was a very good picture of the world, and by convicting the son of God for a crime that he did not commit, as they did with Jesus Christ, they have convicted themselves."
To read Bent's statement in its entirety, click here .
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