A 16-year-old girl told a federal jury Wednesday cult leader Malachi York began molesting her at age 5 and would sodomize or have sex with her several times a week over an eight-year period.
I was told that if I go to the sheriff that I was going to be killed and thrown behind a deer pen, the girl testified. If I left and told, then he would have somebody from New Jersey hunt me down and wed all be dead or something.
The girl was the 14th alleged molestation victim to testify against York, leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors cult who is being tried on 13 counts of child molestation and racketeering.
During the trial, which began Jan. 5 in U.S. District Court, former cult members have testified the Nuwaubians groomed young girls for sex with York at his neo-Egyptian compound in rural Georgia.
The 16-year-old girl told jurors she York gave her candy, clothes and trips to restaurants for performing sex acts with him. She recalled seeing him have sex with a number of other children, both girls and boys.
The girl said she was 5 when she moved with her mother and younger sister to Yorks commune in New York state. She testified she was around 5 when York first had her perform oral sex on him.
She said he told her: Its like a candy bar. It would taste good.
The girl said York would show her and other children pornographic videos and once had a cult member take a photo of her and another girl lying nude on a tiger-striped pillow at his home.
After the Nuwaubians moved to Georgia, the girl said, York first had anal sex with her in a trailer where he lived while cult members built him a house. She said she was about 6 at the time.
I kept saying it hurt and he kept saying it would feel better, the girl told jurors. …As I started crying, he just kept doing it and he said, `Youre an amateur. I think he got irritated.
By the time York first had vaginal intercourse with her at age 13, the girl said, she was one of the last girls in the compound to lose her virginity.
Yorks attorney, Adrian Patrick, tried to question the girls credibility. He asked her about a time, at age 14, she told her mother she thought she was pregnant. The girl said she only did that to make her mother angry.
So you lied to your mother? Patrick said. You lied to your mother about being angry.
Uh-huh, the girl answered.
Patrick was expected to call his first defense witnesses Thursday, and said he planned to wrap up by next Tuesday.
The trial was moved 225 miles from Macon to Brunswick because of pretrial publicity, including months of protests by followers dressed as Egyptian pharaohs, mummies and birds.
York has unsuccessfully argued he has American Indian heritage and should not be judged by the U.S. court system.
U.S. District Court Judge Ashley Royal closed the proceedings to all spectators but the media. The hundreds of Nuwaubian supporters expected to protest at the trial have not materialized, but about 30 were allowed to watch the proceedings from a closed-circuit TV in a separate courtroom.