Defense rests in York case

Defense rests in York case, government to call rebuttal witnesses

BRUNSWICK – The defense for Malakai York‘s federal child molestation case rested Tuesday while the government announced its plans to call several rebuttal witnesses today.

Pamela Lightsey, community relations specialist, said York’s attorney, Adrian Patrick, called 12 Nuwaubian witnesses before the defense rested its case around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

“All 12 denied all of the charges,” Lightsey said.

York did not take the stand. 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.

A daughter of York’s testified Tuesday that 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.

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 York’s 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 York’s 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: “I’m not telling them that they made up the story. I don’t know.”

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

According to Lightsey, the government will present witnesses this morning.

“We may possibly do closing arguments (this) afternoon or Thursday morning,” she said. “The judge will charge the jury. He told them that they will be sequestered once they begin deliberating. They won’t go home until we have a verdict.”

Lightsey said there has been no protests yet, but a native American group was trying to get a permit to protest near the courthouse today or Thursday.

- The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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