Leader of Apocalyptic Church Gets 10-year Sentence

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) - The leader of an apocalyptic church in
New Mexico has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexual
misconduct with teenage female followers.

Wayne Bent, who's 67 years old, denied any wrongdoing. But a
jury convicted him for laying in bed with naked 14- and 16-year-old
sisters in separate incidents in 2006.

Bent is the leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church. Its almost four dozen adult followers live in a compound in northeastern New Mexico.

About a dozen of Bent's followers spoke to the court during the
sentencing hearing, describing him as a kind and caring man who was
unwavering in his religious beliefs.

The judge said Bent was being punished for crimes -- not for his religious beliefs.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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