York's attorneys seeking new trial
The Macon Telegraph/May 25, 2004
By Sharon E. Crawford
Attorneys for convicted child molester and cult leader Malachi
York have asked a federal judge for a new trial, citing new
evidence they say could clear their client.
Monday, York's attorneys asked U.S. District Court Judge C.
Ashley Royal for a new trial based on an affidavit from a woman
recanting her testimony in January that York molested her and then
she solicited other children to have sex with York.
The motion was filed last week, but a new motion was filed
Monday after defense attorneys received an updated affidavit from
York is the leader of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, a
quasi-religious group based in Putnam County.
On April 22 - the day York was sentenced to 135 years in
federal prison - his supporters produced a videotape of the woman
saying she was never molested and was coerced into testifying by
York's son, Jacob York.
In the affidavit, the woman says Jacob York coerced her into
making up a story of abuse and that she worked with other victims
to make sure their stories were similar.
"I take her at her word," York's new attorney, Jonathan Marks,
said Monday. "She said she really didn't understand it would go
this far and she wants to right this awful wrong."
Marks said he's hoping to get a hearing to discuss the need for
a new trial. Federal prosecutors did not return phone calls
seeking comment Monday.
"This startling evidence could not have been discovered until
after the trial," Marks said in his motion. "(York's attorney)
sought diligently to obtain exculpatory evidence to present at
trial. Indeed, he was successful in calling several alleged
victims whom (witnesses) claimed to have seen having sex with
(the) defendant when they were minors."
Marks said the female witness was the first to come forward
saying she did not tell the truth at trial. Marks said that since
he took over as York's attorney, he's talked to several alleged
victims whose names were brought up during the trial.
"I haven't talked to every one of the victims who testified
during the trial , but I have talked to some who were named as
victims," Marks said. "Quite a number have said they were not
York, 58, began his organization in 1967 in Brooklyn, N.Y., as
a Muslim community. He later moved it to upstate New York, then to
Putnam County in 1993.
The group's ideology has undergone several shifts, claiming
ties at various times to Christians, Jews, ancient Egyptians and
American Indians. At one time, York claimed to be an alien from
Beginning in 1998, the Nuwaubians and Putnam County officials
engaged in a public battle over county zoning requirements. That
case has never been settled. The Nuwaubians erected Egyptian-style
statues and pyramids on the compound, often without building
permits. The county sued York and some of his followers over the
But in May 2002, after a lengthy investigation into allegations
that York was molesting children in the compound, officials from
the Putnam County Sheriff's Office and the FBI arrested York at a
grocery store in Milledgeville, then raided the group's compound.
York still awaits sentencing in Putnam County Superior Court on
77 counts of child molestation, aggravated child molestation and
exploitation of children he pleaded guilty to in January 2003,