Jan 26, 2016

Sect leader Wayne Bent slated for release from prison

Albuquerque Journal
Mark Oswald / Journal Staff Writer
January 26, 2016

TAOS — After hearing in court here today, it appears that religious sect leader Wayne Bent, 74, will soon be out of prison after seven years behind bars for his 2008 conviction on charges of second-degree criminal sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Lawyers for Bent, the state Corrections Department, and the District Attorney’s Office agreed that Bent should be released because of his need for medical care for skin cancer. But attorney Jim Brewster, representing the Corrections Department, said the state Parole Board needed more information before it would release Bent. District Judge Abigail Aragon previously had ordered Bent’s release by the end of 2015.

Issues that need to be worked out include whether there is cell phone service at the Union County property of Bent’s church, the Lord Our Righteousness Church, where he will return after his release. He will be required to wear a GPS monitor that needs such cellular reception. Bent attorney John McCall said there’s a chance a revised order for release can be worked out in time for a Parole Board meeting next week.

He was convicted of inappropriate sexual behavior with two teen-age sisters in 2006 when he lay naked with them. But according to information provided by McCall, both women have now called for Bent’s release.

Bent has already served seven years of his 10-year sentence.


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