Cult leader Wayne Bent to be sentenced Tuesday

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Self-proclaimed Messiah faces up to 18 years behind bars

The New Mexico cult leader convicted of sex crimes against a child is scheduled to hear his punishment on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Wayne Bent was convicted of molesting one of two teenage girls who climbed into his bed naked.

Bent is the leader of “The Lord Our Righteousness Church.” It’s a cult based at a compound in Union County.

Bent’s attorney argued that the encounters weren’t sexual, but religious ceremonies.

The self-proclaimed Messiah could be sentenced to up to 18 years behind bars.

– Source: Cult leader to be sentenced Tuesday, (New Mexico, USA), Dec. 29, 2008

After he was convicted, on December 15, Wayne Bent was allowed to return to his compound until sentencing.

The cult leader has sadi he probably wouldn’t eat if he were locked up again. His son, Jeff, explained:

“He says he’s finished with his work. … He has nothing more to do here,” Jeff Bent said after the verdict was announced in a courtroom in Taos.

Jeff Bent said he believed it was the “end of the road for the world” because of his father’s conviction.

He sidestepped questions about whether the 45 or so church members would fast if Wayne Bent did while he was in prison. Church members had indicated last week that they would.

He also refused to say what would happen to the sect if Bent were imprisoned.

– Source: Son Says Apocalyptic Sect Leader Won’t Live Long in Prison, AP via FOX News, Dec. 16, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Dec. 29, 2008