Category: Tridentine Latin Rite Church

Former cult member avoids jail in molestation case

A former member of a reputed Eastside cult avoided jail time Monday when a juvenile court judge suspended his sentence on the condition that he completes sexual deviancy treatment. Steve A. Belzak, 19, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of child molestation. A judge conditionally suspended his sentence of 30-40 weeks in custody and placed him on probation for two years. In addition to treatment, prosecutors said, Belzak also must register as a sex offender and steer clear of drugs, alcohol and any kind of sexually explicit material. Belzak was one of three young men accused of sexually abusing

Third cult member surrenders in sex abuse case

SEATTLE – A third and final suspect wanted by sheriff’s detectives for allegedly sexually abusing a young member of an Eastside religious cult has surrendered. As our reports over the past several weeks showed the case had gone cold for detectives trying to locate two cult members accused of molesting a boy. Detectives believe the publicity pressured the secretive group to convince the accused to come forward and face justice. Twenty-one-year-old Michael Muratore turned himself in Monday to face a child molestation charge. Muratore is one of three young men in the Tridentine Latin Rite Church accused of molesting the

Alleged cult molester surrenders

One of two young men wanted by police for allegedly molesting a young boy while living with an Eastside group known to many as a cult has surrendered to authorities. Justin Kirkland, 20, a member of the Tridentine Latin Rite Church, was being held Tuesday night held in lieu of $75,000 bail after being booked at the King County Jail in Seattle on Monday morning, nearly a year after he was charged with two counts of first-degree rape of a child. Police are still looking for Michael W. Muratore, 21, a third member of the church who was charged Nov.

Charges shed light on church

Eastside `cult’ is likely hiding members accused of sex abuse, police say The shadowy history of an Eastside church, recognized by many as a cult, has come into focus with new charges of child molestation and an admission by one former member that he molested an 8-year-old boy. Steven A. Belzak told King County prosecutors that he began sexually abusing an 8-year-old boy at a home in Sammamish for male members of the Tridentine Latin Rite Church. In his confession, he said the abuse went on for three years, beginning in 2000. Another church member, 20-year-old Justin Kirkland, is charged

Second cult member charged with sex assault

A KING 5 investigation took you inside a bizarre Eastside cult. Now we’ve learned of new criminal charges filed Monday against a member of the Tridentine Latin Rite Church. Before they could convince a judge to issue an arrest warrant for a suspect, detectives had to do a very basic thing: Prove he exists. In Court last November, 19-year-old Steve Belzak pleaded guilty to two counts of child molestation in the first degree. On Monday, King County detectives charged another suspect, 21-year old Michael W. Muratore, with child molestation. Just like a third suspect charged in the case, Justin Kirkland,

Investigators: Eastside cult faces sex abuse claim

SEATTLE – Members of a reclusive religious sect claim to be dedicating their lives to God. But the KING 5 Investigators have uncovered troubling evidence that some members aren’t following the law here on earth. The Eastside group is known by many different names, but most commonly as the “Tridentine Latin Rites Church.” It is not associated with the Catholic Church or the archdiocese of Seattle. We’ve learned that one child, maybe others, were sexually abused within the church’s own inner sanctum. That news comes as one family decides to take drastic steps to get their loved one out. Video

The sect behind the shroud

Seattle Times, Nov. 19, 2002 By Susan Kelleher Two nuns breathed in the midnight air of Southern Oregon and prayed for the souls of sinners, unaware that one was headed straight toward them. They fingered their rosaries and murmured prayers to the Virgin Mary as a drifter on his way home from a local strip club approached on his bicycle. According to prosecutors, the man attacked them, raping both and strangling one with her rosary beads. Police quickly caught and charged the suspect in the Sept. 1 crime. But with the man behind bars, attention turned to other questions: