Sect leader's convictions upheld
Athens Banner-Herald (GA)/October 28, 2005
By Joe Johnson
A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld the 2004 conviction
of religious sect leader Dwight "Malachi" York that led to a
135-year prison sentence on child molestation and racketeering
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision was announced
without comment by G.F. Peterman III, acting U.S. attorney for the
Middle District of Georgia.
York appealed his conviction on several grounds, including
claims that prosecutors improperly applied federal racketeering
laws, the trial judge erred when ruling on defense motions and the
grand jury that indicted him had been tainted by pretrial
Because of the publicity, York's trial was moved from U.S.
District Court in Macon to Brunswick, where a jury convicted him
Jan. 23, 2004, on charges of conspiracy, racketeering, conspiracy
to transport minors for unlawful sex, transporting minors for
unlawful sex, traveling interstate to engage in unlawful sex and
structuring cash transactions to avoid reporting requirements.
The convictions were based largely on the testimony of former
members of York's cult, the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, who
said he began molesting children as young as 8 years old in New
York, where the cult was founded. He continued molesting children
after moving the group in 1993 to a 476-acre compound outside
Eatonton in Putnam County, witnesses testified, as well as at the
sect leader's mansion on Mansfield Court in Athens.
Former Nuwaubians testified York had manipulated the sect's
finances for personal gain from 1998 until his arrest in 2002.
The Athens mansion was seized by the U.S. Marshals Service and
sold at auction in August.
York, who currently goes by the name of Chief Black Thunderbird
Eagle, is serving his sentence in a special housing unit of the
federal prison in Leavenworth, Kan.