8 Feb 2011

New York jury convicts Santeria pastor of sexually abusing two teen brothers

Wall Street Journal  -   Associated Press    January 28, 2011

NY jury convicts pastor of sexual abuse

RIVERHEAD, N.Y. — A Long Island jury has convicted the pastor of a small congregation of sexually abusing two teenage brothers.

Miguel Leon, who preached to a Santeria congregation out of his Medford home, was convicted of 37 counts, including criminal sex acts and endangering the welfare of a child. The jury in Riverhead, N.Y., deliberated for 11 hours over two days.

Prosecutors say the brothers, 14 and 16, were abused from December 2008 to July 2009.

They say Leon led a group that practices Lucumi Yoruba, which prosecutors describe as a Santeria religion based on Christianity and West African spiritual beliefs.

Leon's attorney said he will appeal and added that Leon still maintains his innocence.
Information from: Newsday, http://www.newsday.com

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