Sect leader framed, daughter says

BRUNSWICK — The defense of Nuwaubian leader Malachi York drew to a close Tuesday as an alleged victim testified that she was not molested by York. And York’s daughter said her brother concocted a conspiracy to frame his father.

York’s daughter, Leah Mabry, 23, said her brother, Jacob, met with her and several alleged victims in May 2001 and told her “that I should go to the FBI and say I was molested by Malachi York.”

Mabry said she was never molested by her father, who founded the United Nation of Nuwaubian Moors and moved the quasi-religious organization to a farm in Putnam County in Middle Georgia in 1993.

She said Jacob York “has a vendetta against [his father]. He hates him.”

She said York has 15 children “to my knowledge” and then blew a kiss to her father as she left.

York, charged with molestation and racketeering, smiled in response. In the federal court trial, which began Jan. 5, the prosecution has had 13 witnesses testify that they were molested by York while they were children.

Mabry’s testimony is one of the keys to the defense: that Jacob was angered when his father refused to lend him money for his music business and conspired to bring York down.

Federal prosecutors contend that Malachi York, 58, ran the organization to molest children and siphon off funds for himself.

Suhaiyla Thomas, an alleged victim listed in the indictment, refuted an FBI report that says she admitted to having been sexually abused by York.

Thomas, whose mother has a daughter by York, is the sixth woman listed as a victim in the indictment to testify that she was never molested by York. Thomas admitted she met with FBI agents for four to six hours during their investigation, but denied she ever told them that she had been molested.

An incredulous Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Moultrie waved a document in the air and said, “You are telling the jury that two ladies you never met before made up this six-page statement of what you told them?”

Thomas nodded in agreement.

In other testimony, 9-year-old Elijiah Hibner was called, apparently to gain the jury’s sympathy for the Nuwaubians, who complain they were victims of a heavy-handed raid when York was arrested in May 2002. The boy rolled right into his testimony and was asked to slow down.

“They stuck guns up to the babies’ heads to make them stop crying,” he said. Then he quickly added, “They stole some of our food, too.”

The case is expected to go to the jury Thursday.

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