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Cult leader’s son tried to frame him, witness testifies

The Associated Press, USA
Jan. 20, 2004 • Wednesday January 21, 2004

A daughter of cult leader Malachi York testified Tuesday she was urged by her brother to lie to authorities by saying her father molested her.

Leah Mabry, 23, told a federal jury her brother, Jacob York, has a vendetta against their father, the leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors. He hates him, Mabry said.

Malachi York is on trial in U.S. District Court for 13 counts of child molestation and racketeering. Thirteen witnesses have testified York, 58, molested them while they lived with the Nuwaubian cult, which moved in 1993 from New York to an Egyptian-theme compound in rural Putnam County.

Mabry, who at one point blew a kiss to her father in the courtroom, testified that her brother asked her to lie during a May 2001 meeting in Stone Mountain with several women who have accused York of molesting them.

He told me that I should go to the FBI and tell them I was molested by Mr. York, Mabry said.

York is not charged with molesting his daughter.

Another of Yorks alleged victims also came to his defense Tuesday. A 21-year-old woman denied telling FBI investigators York sexually assaulted her at age 16, though a 2002 FBI report says she did.

I told them no, and they told me some people were going to be upset with me, said the woman, who is named in Yorks indictment as having been molested in 1998. …I never told them I was molested.

Asked by assistant prosecutor Richard Moultrie if she meant the FBI fabricated its report, the woman said: Im not telling them that they made up the story. I dont know.

Since the trial began Jan. 5, a total of seven alleged victims have testified that York never molested them.

Before the defense rested Tuesday, York spoke briefly after U.S. District Judge Ashley Royal advised him of his right not to testify in his own defense.

For the record, it is my decision not to testify, York told the judge in a raspy voice while the jury was out of the courtroom.

Closing arguments in the case could come Wednesday after prosecutors call several rebuttal witnesses. The jury was expected to being deliberating Thursday. Jurors will be sequestered until they reach a verdict.

Yorks trial was moved 225 miles from Macon to Brunswick because of pretrial publicity.

Over the years, York has incorporated Islam, Judaism, Christianity, Egyptian mysticism and space aliens into his quasi-religious teachings. He has unsuccessfully argued he has American Indian heritage and should not be judged by the U.S. court system.

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