Court upholds cult leader Wayne Bent’s sexual misconduct conviction: The New Mexico Supreme Court on Monday reinstated the convictions of religious cult leader Wayne Bent for sexual misconduct with teenage followers.
Bent’s son, Jeff, said the justices will be asked to reconsider their ruling.
“I find it incredible that the Supreme Court openly accepts that mistakes were made by the district court in my father’s case, and yet conclude he has no remedy,” Bent said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. “They toss out the idea that a grand jury must be legally impaneled in accordance with law to hand down indictments, something I find appalling.” […]
The Court of Appeals, after concluding that the grand jury indictment was invalid, did not consider other issues raised by Bent when he first challenged his convictions. […]
If Bent’s indictment was invalidated, the court said, a new grand jury would likely find there is probable cause to indict Bent again and he would face a new trial.
Word Of Faith Fellowship Church Confined, Abused North Carolina Man For Being Gay: Report: 22-year-old Michael Lowry has filed a complained against his former church, which he accuses of holding him for four months against his will while he was physically and emotionally abused because he is gay.
In a statement given to a sheriff’s department investigator last week, Lowry said he was kept in a church building from Aug. 1 to Nov. 19, 2011. He said he was knocked unconscious during his first day of confinement.
Lowry’s former pastor, Jane Whaley, said Sunday that all of his allegations are “lies.”
According to the Charlotte Observer
Former members interviewed by the Observer in 2000 say they were told where to live, where to work, what to read, how to dress or even when it was OK to have sex with their spouses.
Lowry says many of those controls continue today.
Word of Faith also practices “blasting,” a form of hands-on, high-pitched, screaming prayer, a ritual that has landed it on “Inside Edition” and YouTube. The church, according to its website, also doesn’t celebrate “pagan holidays” ranging from birthdays to Christmas.
Word of Faith was investigated twice in the late 1990s for its treatment of children, and later sued the local Department of Social Services in connection with what is now referred to on its website as “the persecution.”
Whaley said the church has been exonerated of all allegations.
The £93m pastor accused of exploiting British worshippers: A church run by a controversial multi-millionaire African preacher has been accused of ‘cynical exploitation’ after its British branch received £16.7 million in donations from followers who were told that God would give them riches in return.
Winners’ Chapel is part of a worldwide empire of evangelical ministries run by Nigeria’s wealthiest preacher David Oyedepo, who has an estimated £93 million fortune, a fleet of private jets and a Rolls-Royce Phantom.
Judge orders meeting on payment for manager of FLDS sect’s trust: Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff has been ordered to appear in court to discuss how the state will pay millions in past-due fees to the accountant in charge of the polygamous sect’s seized property trust.
The Utah Supreme Court in August affirmed previous court orders that the state should compensate Wisan, who has not been paid in the four years since the FLDS sued over the state’s 2005 takeover of the $114 million United Effort Plan (UEP) trust, preventing Wisan from paying himself from the trust.