Putnam grand jury reindicts top
Atlanta Journal-Constitution/October 4, 2002
By Bill Osinski
Eatonton --- The state has expanded what is already believed to
be Georgia's --- and perhaps the nation's --- largest child
molestation case by reindicting Nuwaubian leader Dwight York. The
Putnam County grand jury handed down a 208-count indictment
Thursday, nearly doubling the number of crimes alleged in its
previous indictment of York in May. York is named in 197 of the
Eight new alleged victims were identified by the state for the
"This has been the most voluminous case, in terms of number of
counts, number of victims, and the sheer scope of the
investigation that I've ever been associated with," said District
Attorney Fred Bright, the lead prosecutor in the case. "It becomes
mind-boggling after a while."
As with the earlier charges, almost all of the counts are child
molestation or aggravated child molestation, a crime in whice
force or violence is alleged.
Bright said the second indictment was necessary in order to
ensure that the state's case is as complete as legally possible.
"I want the trial jury to hear the whole scope of the child
molestation that happened here in Putnam County," Bright said.
Defense attorneys have filed a motion for a change of venue for
the trial, and Bright said he will not oppose it.
York, 57, moved with 100 or so of his followers to a 400-acre
rural property in Putnam County in 1993 from Brooklyn, N.Y., where
the group was a Muslim-oriented organization called Ansaru Allah
Once in Georgia, the group went through several name and
identity changes before York settled on the United Nuwaubian
Nation of Moors.
A joint federal-local investigation began after police received
anonymous tips that York was molesting children in the group,
culminating in his arrest in May and a raid on the Nuwaubian
property by about 300 law enforcement officers.
York has also been indicted in federal court and charged with
four counts of transporting children across state lines for the
purposes of illegal sexual activity. He was denied bail on those
charges and he remains in federal custody.