The leader of a cult
on the French Indian Ocean island of Réunion has been jailed for 13 years for making a dramatic prison escape in a helicopter that had been hijacked by three of his followers.
Juliano Verbard’s escape took place in 2009, when he was serving time for rape and sexual abuse of several young boys, one of whom was kidnapped and named his successor.
Police on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion said they had arrested Juliano Verbard, the paedophile leader of an outlawed sect who escaped
from prison by helicopter last month.
The 27-year-old founder of the outlawed Christian “Painful and Immaculate Heart of Mary” sect, was jailed for 15 years last year for raping two children.
Three armed men hijacked a tourist helicopter on Monday and used it to free a cult leader and two of his followers from a prison on the French island of Reunion, in the Indian Ocean.
Freed were cult leader Juliano Verbard, and two of his followers: Verbard’s lover Fabrice Michel, and Jismy Michel, Fabrice’s father.
Juliano Verbard was serving a 15-year term for rapes and sex assaults on children. [video]
The Indian Ocean outpost has much in common with France. But the story of an abducted boy and a sect which declared him its messiah has shone an unwelcome light on the island.
A 12-year-old boy was released overnight on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion as police arrested a suspected cult guru and his followers over the abduction.