Cult Leader Arrested

By Gadi Schwartz
May 6, 2008

[with video]

The New Mexico cult leader, who claims to be the Messiah, is now behind bars.

He was arrested Tuesday at his compound in Union County, charged with child molestation.

Wayne Bent is currently being held at the Union County Detention Center.

Early Tuesday morning, state police agents and sheriff's deputies sowed up at the Strong City compound in Union County with an arrest warrant for Bent, who also goes by the name Michael Travesser.

Wayne Bent

Bent is charged with three counts of criminal sexual contact of minors and three counts of contributing to the delinquency of minors.

Last month the state removed two girls and a 16-year-old boy after reports of inappropriate contact between the children and the cult leader.

Bent has admitted to having sex with cult members on his website, but he says that he has never touched children in a sexual manner.

Bent's bond has been set at $500,000.


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