Victim's testimony heard

Athens Banner-Herald/January 8, 2004
By Terry Dickson

Brunswick -- A second woman and a man testified Thursday about having sex as children with Dwight ''Malachi'' York, the leader of a quasi-religious sect in Middle Georgia who is on trial in federal court on charges of child molestation and racketeering.


The 28-year-old woman said Thursday the mistreatment began when she was 15 and living in New York - before York and his followers moved to a compound near Eatonton in Putnam County.

The woman testified York kept her on the 440-acre compound with warnings that demons lurked beyond the gates and that rape, murder and drugs awaited on the outside.

Federal prosecutors have said York's followers at the neo-Egyptian United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors compound lived in squalid conditions and worked long hours without pay to raise money to support York's lavish lifestyle. York also used the money to support the boys, girls and young women that he routinely used for sex, prosecutors have said.

Federal prosecutors have said Dwight York's followers lived in squalid conditions to help support York's lavish lifestyle. The trial was moved to Brunswick from Macon because of extensive pretrial publicity.

The woman told the court that her mother brought along her sister and brother when she joined the Nuwaubian cult in New York. Both she and her younger sister, who testified earlier in the week, had sex with York as children, the woman said.

She also testified to horrid living conditions at the compound, except in the house where York lived. She said York kept girls and women at his beck and call for sex.

Necessities were in short supply or non-existent elsewhere in the compound. York sometimes refused requests for food, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, combs, baby diapers and other essentials, she said.

One woman resorted to boiling rice in the morning and giving the water to her baby and to using towels for diapers, the 28-year-old said.

Women used old stockings and towels for sanitary napkins, she said. When things broke at ''the girls' house,'' they sometimes went unrepaired, including windows, fallen doors and holes in walls, she said.

Things were different at ''Building 100,'' where York lived, she said.


''He had china and filet mignon, always hot water. If he had problems, the brothers would quickly fix it,'' she said.

Evidence photos of York's residence show ornate decorations, gold fixtures and plush furniture. A gilded staircase bore a sign that said, ''Do Not Go Upstairs.''

But it was up those stairs that York compelled youngsters to have sex with him, a 23-year-old man testified.

He described in graphic detail encounters in which York had sex with him beginning when he was a 13-year-old boy.

''He said it wouldn't be considered gay. It was supposed to be secret between me and Mr. York,'' the man said.

The man said he had been born into one of York's communities in Brooklyn and was taken from his parents to live with other children. He recalled the organization moving to Sullivan County in upstate New York, where York sometimes appeared on the balcony of a house and threw money down to his followers.

A series of FBI agents testified Thursday to searching the Putnam County compound, where they found pornographic comic books, videotapes and DVDs, among other things.

Agents also found a locked briefcase that contained more than $270,000 in $50 and $100 bills. The government has said York had workers separate the large bills from cash the Nuwaubians took in, and used it for his personal benefit.







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