Civil Lawsuit Targets Sheriff in Nuwaubian Sect Case

Sills Calls Allegations ‘Baseless’

MACON — Seven people linked to the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors have filed a federal lawsuit against Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, saying he did not act quickly enough on reports that children were being molested at the group’s headquarters.

Sills’ delay in investigating the allegations resulted in the plaintiffs’ children suffering “great pain of mind and body,” the complaints say.

The group’s leader, Malachi York, was convicted of molestation and other charges earlier this year and was sentenced in April to 135 years in prison.

The six filings all consist of a one-page complaint stating that on Sept. 25, 1998, officials with the state Division of Family and Children Services informed Sills of alleged molestation occurring at the group’s rural headquarters.

But Sills said Thursday the complaints are baseless.

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“I wish it hadn’t taken four years to complete the investigation,” Sills said. “That would have been four years of hell my community, myself and my family wouldn’t have had to go through.”

Each of the complainants is acting as his or her own attorney, court records show. The complaints also each seek $100,000 in damages from Sills.

The Nuwaubian group moved to Putnam County from New York in 1993 and has recently changed its name to the Yamassee Native Americans of the Creek Nation.

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Associated Press, USA
July 2, 2004

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