May 21, 2008
As previously reported by iNPLACENEWS, Wayne Bent aka Michael Travesser, the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church in New Mexico, was arrested for suspected sex crimes against underage girls in his cult. Now, he had been indicted on two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This indictment differs from when he was initially charged in magistrate court with crimes against three girls who previously lived on the church’s compound in a remote area near the Colorado line.
District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he made the decision to pursue indictments in district court to avoid an open preliminary hearing in magistrate court in which the girls could have been subjected to cross-examination by the defense attorney.
The original story can be found here
The follow-up to the original can be found here
May 6, 2008
New Mexico state police say they’ve arrested the leader of an apocalyptic church Wayne Bent on sex charges. Also known as Michael Travesser, 66-year-old Wayne Bent was picked up without incident Tuesday at the remote former ranch where he and his followers live, as reported by State police spokesman Peter Olson.The “Messiah” is now facing three charges of criminal sexual contact, stemming from allegations of inappropriate contact between Bent and children at the northeastern New Mexico compound.
Bent has admitted to having sex with his followers.
Officials recently removed two girls and a boy from the compound.
iNPLACENEWS originally posted a story about this here
May 5, 2008
State officials in Clayton, New Mexico have been aware of and investigating an apocalyptic cult, Lord Our Righteousness Church, that supposedly has child-molesting as part of its practices, whether stated or not in its mission statement. Although this is NOT an FLDS branch, it is not unlike the cult in Texas that recently was raided and had hundreds of children taken. A man who goes by Michael Travesser ((his real name is Wayne Bent (the bearded man in the above photo)) says he was anointed the Messiah by God in 2000 had told cult members that he must sleep with seven virgins. Recently, a father, John Sayer, who has two female children in the cult, left the cult after 16 years in hopes of saving hs family. Unfortunately, after their departure, the two girls (ages 14 and 15) returned to the cult. Children, Youth and Families Department got involved after a tip and removed the Sayer’s youngest last week. Two girls and one boy, all under the age of 18, were taken in the state-intervention.
Sayer says that his daughters were asked to just “lay naked” with Micheal, but that anything could have happened. He had continually denied the requests of Michael to make his daughters 2 of the 7 virgins he would sleep with. In a posting on the website for the cult, Michael said that he never had sex with minors nor did the cult involve any kind of molestation, child or adult.
Sounds all too familar these days. Stay tuned.