FBI: Dozens Molested by Sect
The Associated Press/May 13, 2002
By Kyle Wingfield
Macon, Ga. -- The leader of a religious group molested
dozens of children, some as young as 4, at the sect's
compound over the past nine years, an FBI agent testified at
a bail hearing Monday.
Dwight York, founder of the United Nuwaubian Nation of
Moors, and his partner, Kathy Johnson, are seeking bail on
federal charges alleging they transported minors across
state lines for sex beginning in 1993, the year the group
settled in central Georgia.
FBI agent Jalaine Ward testified that three children told
her they were forced to perform oral sex and other acts with
York, 56, and Johnson, 33.
The children, ages 4, 6 and 8 at the time, were photographed
and videotaped engaging in sexual acts and posing in
sexually explicit positions, she said.
Ward said witnesses told also investigators that 30 to 35
children ages 4 to 18 were molested. She said York brought
some children to the compound from New York. He also took 15
to 20 trips to Disney World in Florida over the past four
years, taking minors with him and abusing them there, she
The hearing is scheduled to resume Tuesday.
York and Johnson were arrested last Wednesday a few miles
from the 476-acre Nuwaubian compound in rural Putnam County.
At about the same time, more than 100 officers raided the
compound and said they seized at least 30 handguns and
The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors is a predominantly
black, quasi-religious group. The compound featured
six-story pyramids and a large gate bearing Egyptian-style
In some Nuwaubian literature, York has been referred to as
the group's savior or god and described as an
extraterrestrial from the planet ``Rizq.''
More than 100 people lived in the compound but York and
Johnson were the only ones arrested.
Ward said children at the compound were separated from their
parents at an early age, with visitation dictated by York.
He also controlled devotees' money, food and clothing,
dictated where they lived and when they could enter and
leave the compound. Men and women could not talk or have sex
without his permission.
The children who were abused were ``treated more specially
than children who weren't involved in sexual activities with
York,'' Ward testified.
York faces four counts of sexual exploitation of minors. The
maximum penalty for each count is 15 years in prison and a
$250,000 fine. Johnson faces one charge.
The Nuwaubians have clashed with Putnam County officials for
years over building codes, voter registration and the
group's hiring of armed security guards. This is the first
time York has been arrested in Georgia, though he served
time in New York in the 1960s for assault, resisting arrest
and possession of a dangerous weapon, authorities said.