Day 4: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial

NM vs. Wayne Bent / December 11, 2008

jojola_1KOB-TV Investigative Reporter Jeremy Jojola continues to make contributions here as a special correspondent to Beyond90Seconds.com. Jojola’s e-mails, text, pics and even some of his Twitter updates will appear below.  I’ll also include the time (MST) the information was sent to this blog.

9:18am (MST)
(From Jeremy Jojola’s Twitter page.)

Bent trial resumes 9 minutes ago

9:41am (MST)

Gabriel Travesser, current church member, on the stand for Defense
gabriel_travesser-1

10:21am (MST)
(From Jeremy’s Jojola’s Twitter page.)

Gabriel Travesser: people have “twisted” the view of his church / 13 minutes ago

10:44am (MST)
(Jeremy Jojola has just filed a phone report with Beyond90Seconds.com.  He reports that court is currently in a 15-minutes recess.  Gabriel Travesser has finished testifying.  Jeremy Jojola sees former LOR member Prudence Welch just outside the courthouse.  Jeremy’s phone report will appear here shortly as an audio/mp3 file.)

11:06am (MST)
(AUDIO:  Jeremy Jojola’s phone report to Beyond90Seconds.com appears below.  Jeremy filed the report at 10:38am MST today.)

Jeremy Jojola interview (8)

11:09am (MST)

Allasso Travesser on stand, current church member, says he kissed Wayne Bent on lips during religious experience.  Sounds like defense is trying to establish that Bent kisses everyone

allasso_travesser-1

12:19pm (MST)
(Court is now in recess for lunch.  Just spoke with Jeremy Jojola.  Some interesting “behind the scenes” insights shared by Jojola.  I’ll post the audio here shortly.)

12:57pm (MST)
(AUDIO:  Interview with Jeremy Jojola conducted at 12:08pm MST appears below.)

Jeremy Jojola interview (9)

1:20pm (MST)
(Last night, I asked Jeremy Jojola asked if he could send me a picture of the KOB-TV satellite truck at the Wayne Bent trial.  He took the photo below today.  Suddenly, “timely”.)

kob_sat_truck

1:16pm (MST)

Bent just took the stand

bent_on_stand-2

1:39 (MST)
(From Jeremy Jojola’s Twitter page.)

Bent on stand. Denies touching “intimate” parts of alleged victims

1:54PM (MST)

Bent: youngest girl wanted to be “skin-to-skin” with me
Bent says he doesn’t remember kissing alleged victims but doesn’t deny it may have happened. Says he kisses everyone.
Bent: I put hand on sternum of alleged victim.


2:01pm (MST)
(…more
Twitter.)

Bent says he doesn’t remember much about statements he gave to police / 6 minutes ago

2:09pm (MST)
(...more Twitter.)

Judge to prosecutor Tomas Benavidez: I’m getting frustrated. Get to the point (during Bent cross examination) / 3 minutes ago

2:16pm (MST)
(...more
Twitter)

Bent admits to “permitting” girls to get naked in his bed. / 20 seconds ago

2:24 (MST)
(…more
Twitter.)

Bent says he’s required under his religious beliefs to allow girls to get naked. He claims he can’t disobey their requests / less than 20 seconds ago

2:28 (MST)
(…more
Twitter.)

Bent’s testimony ends. Religious expert Stephen O’Leary on stand for defense / half a minute ago

2:47 (MST)
(…more
Twitter.)

Religious expert for defense says lying naked in bed once part of ancient Christian church to “test celibacy” / 5 minutes ago

3:07pm (MST)
(…more
Twitter.)

Defense, Prosecution rest. Jury dismissed. Closing arguments set for tomorrow morning / 1 minute ago

3:13pm (MST)
(VIDEO:  Backing up a little more than two hours for moment, here’s a look at Jeremy Jojola’s report for KOB-TV at noon today. It may take a moment for the video to appear here.)

3:22pm MST
(Just spoke with Jeremy Jojola on the phone.  Audio report coming soon.)

4:03pm MST
(AUDIO: Beyond90Seconds.com interview with Jeremy Jojola appears below.  Interview conducted at 3:15pm MST.  Court had concluded for the day just minutes earlier.)

Jeremy Jojola interview (10)

8:03pm (MST)
(Jeremy Jojola’s 5pm MST live report for KOB-TV can be seen below.  The report features Wayne Bent on the witness stand and a defense expert witness.)

Day 1: Updates on Wayne Bent case from Taos courthouse
Day 2: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial
Day 3: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial
Day 4: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial
Day 5: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial

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29 Responses to Day 4: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial

  1. avatar
    EMC December 11, 2008 at 10:27 am #

    Allasso Travesser on stand, current church member, says he kissed Wayne Bent on lips during religious experience. Sounds like defense is trying to establish that Bent kisses everyone

    Yeah – wonder if Allasso got naked in bed with Wayne, too . . . .

  2. avatar
    Jan December 11, 2008 at 10:42 am #

    EMC
    Yeah – wonder if Allasso got naked in bed with Wayne, too . . . .
    ———————-

    That is exactly what I was thinking. They are really trying to make this so pure innocent and just a loving big wonderful family. Hopefully the jury will realize that naked in bed is not the same as a kiss between any adults, with clothes on.

  3. avatar
    HardlyWorking December 11, 2008 at 10:58 am #

    I don’t think the jury is going to be influenced by testimony like this. Such is often referred to as “self-serving.” The jury is known as “triers of fact” and they depend on their own intuitive skills to figure out who is credible and who is “stretching” the truth. I don’t thing that testimony saying that Bent is not really the leader and that he kissed men on the mouth too… would convince me of anything more than his followers are willing to “say anything.”

    Often jurors will compare (or relate) defense “character witness” testimony to their own experiences with excuses made by children… pretty easy to see through their attempts at deception.

  4. avatar
    KM December 11, 2008 at 10:59 am #

    I agree EMC! Kissing and lying naked in bed are two very different things.

    There are many cultures where kissing everyone on the lips is an accepted part of life. There aren’t many, none that I am aware of except SC, where lying naked in bed with anyone and everyone is “acceptable”.

    Yesterday you wrote this:
    “Certain parties to the case seem to think that “touching” is only possible with an individual’s hands. No matter how I consider the actors, if two people are laying skin-to-skin, chest to chest, contact with the intimate areas occurs. (Think about that darn Barbie doll – what part protrudes the most. I just don’t see any other way.)”

    That was very well said! If you are naked, embracing someone while lying in a bed, more than breasts will be touched. It’s a vivid picture in my mind and I hope the jury sees it too!

    The facts speak for themselves: An older man let underaged, naked girls lie in his bed. At the very least he held them and put his hand on their chest. And he admits it!

    This was and will continue to be so wrong!

  5. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 11:00 am #

    And I suppose that when Wayne kissed the girl’s breasts it was because it was dark and his aim was off….or maybe he was just making the sign of the cross.

  6. avatar
    Jan December 11, 2008 at 11:25 am #

    KM
    (Think about that darn Barbie doll – what part protrudes the most. I just don’t see any other way.)”
    —————————-

    Perhaps 2 dolls – one a naked barbie – the other a older male doll with longer grey hair and definitely naked and shown in the positions that were in that letter.
    A visual for the jury might implant what was really going on in their mind. I know since I have reread that letter again, I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. And it is more that disgusting, no religious experience for sure.

  7. avatar
    KM December 11, 2008 at 11:41 am #

    Jan, that is funny but oh so true!

    And definitely not religious by any stretch of the imagination!

  8. avatar
    ron December 11, 2008 at 12:41 pm #

    The Bentster is on the stand! Will he command the jurors to worship him?

  9. avatar
    ron December 11, 2008 at 12:42 pm #

    Did he swear in like George Burns did? ” I promise to tell the whole truth, so help me Me!”

  10. avatar
    EMC December 11, 2008 at 12:45 pm #

    lol @ Ron – that’s what was needed – a little levity to lighten the mood!!!!

  11. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    2:24(MST)
    (…more Twitter)

    “Bent says he’s required under his religious beliefs to allow girls to get naked. He claims he can’t disobey their requests / less than 20 seconds ago”

    I wonder if that includes requests for consummation?

    I remember reading on the SC website that Wayne refused a consummation request from one individual (I believe it was one of the minor girls) but he said basically that he couldn’t guarantee that he would refuse if they asked again.

    It would seem that this courtroom statement would be reason enough to prohibit minor girls from living on his compound?

  12. avatar
    EMC December 11, 2008 at 1:35 pm #

    Ah, man, it’s over already?

    All these months and just about an hour on the stand?!

    It took me longer than that to read just one of his diatribes!

  13. avatar
    ron December 11, 2008 at 1:36 pm #

    The DA should have asked Bent if he is divine and therefore above the laws of man.

  14. avatar
    Sam Redman December 11, 2008 at 2:08 pm #

    When Bent made the assertion that his religious beliefs commanded him to allow naked girls to get into his bed, if they requested it, he might possibly have (probably) sealed his fate. Most likely, the judge (who explains the law to the jury will tell them that constitutional rights protecting religious freedoms do not extend to sexually related activities with minors (established in precedent law substantiated by appeal).

  15. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 2:19 pm #

    “I remember reading on the SC website that Wayne refused a consummation request from one individual (I believe it was one of the minor girls) but he said basically that he couldn’t guarantee that he would refuse if they asked again.”

    I found more on this…its from a posting by Michael (Wayne Bent) that was on their website around June 2008 entitled “The Whole Story”. Here are some excerpts of Wayne writing about the Seven Virgins wanting to consummate (have sexual intercourse) with him…

    “I had a meeting with the girls and told them all, that I would not be having an intimate union with them as they had requested. Some of the girls began to cry, for it was strong upon their hearts…

    Now I felt as though I was left desolate, for God had withdrawn from me. I felt very clearly then that God was telling me that He would leave me altogether and get someone else who would follow His instructions, and I saw my great mistake.
    I then realized that I had been mistaken in refusing to do what God had intimated. I repented, telling the Father that I would do whatever He appointed for me. I would do anything God said, rather than have to live one hour without Him. The Anointing returned, and I knew I was not to say that I would not consummate with the virgins. I did not know the future, nor do I know it now, but I was not to tell the Father what I would or would not do. That was entirely up to Him….”

  16. avatar
    Jan December 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    Sam Redman

    When Bent made the assertion that his religious beliefs commanded him to allow naked girls to get into his bed, if they requested it, he might possibly have (probably) sealed his fate. Most likely, the judge (who explains the law to the jury will tell them that constitutional rights protecting religious freedoms do not extend to sexually related activities with minors (established in precedent law substantiated by appeal).

    ———————-

    The judge explaining that to the jury will hopefully indeed seal his fate. Thank you for pointing that interesting precedent of law out to us here.

  17. avatar
    jims December 11, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    I wonder when they will ask the church members how old a girl has to be before they consider them women?

  18. avatar
    KM December 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm #

    Regardless of the age their church considers them women, the state of New Mexico says that they are minors until they are 18.

    They cannot consent to sex or even something that could be considered sexual. Even if they do consent it’s still against the law and the adult is at fault no matter if it was a boyfriend who was 20 years old or a 67 year old man. Jail bait! You do the crime, you should do the time!

    Now, I guess we’ll see if the prosecution has made a strong enough case to the jury and if WB will be convicted under the current laws. If not a new precedent will be set in New Mexico and the state will become a haven for sexual predators under the guise of religion.

  19. avatar
    EMC December 11, 2008 at 2:56 pm #

    I thought it was interesting that the defense’s psych witness was arguing Wayne is too old to have developed those patterns of behavior (as a sexual predator).

    Would it have changed his mind if he were aware that Wayne did, indeed, consummate with 7 women on the Land?

    And, also, the religious expert . . . does that mean Wayne failed the test of chastity with those seven others?

    Puh-lease. Just because the man ain’t been caught before, doesn’t mean he’s not a predator.

  20. avatar
    KM December 11, 2008 at 3:08 pm #

    I think the defense witness probably was very aware of the consummations and just chose to ignore them as not being of a predatory nature. Besides, that wouldn’t fit with his testimony.

    I googled the chastity test and the first few listed were about Gandhi. “In his middle thirties, Gandhi took the vow of bramahcharya, which means not only complete chastity but the elimination of sexual desire. To test his self-control Gandhi slept naked with young women”.

    Yep, WB’s desire to be in the movies got the better of him and he got caught. Oops, more coverage than he wanted.

  21. avatar
    ron December 11, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    Wayne says it was for healing. Marvin Gaye called it Sexual Healing.

  22. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 6:00 pm #

    From video of trial on KOB.com

    “Religious “expert” for the defense, Dr Steven OLeary, believes Bent is not a sex criminal”

    Dr O’Leary~ “Unlawful conduct has been alleged as (unintelligible) touching, but it seems to me that Mr Bent has been extremely careful …”

    I’m not quite sure how this religious expert was able to testify so confidently about what Mr Bent did or did not do?

  23. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 6:14 pm #

    And what the heck do ancient Christian chastity tests have to with anything ??? Our modern evolved laws should permit this as a religious exemption because some other people did it 1000+ years ago in another country? Bent was laying naked with minors to see if he could avoid having sex with them and if he fails everyone just says oops?

    It just seems so absurd to me.

  24. avatar
    Jan December 11, 2008 at 6:24 pm #

    raycot

    And what the heck do ancient Christian chastity tests have to with anything ??? Our modern evolved laws should permit this as a religious exemption because some other people did it 1000+ years ago in another country? Bent was laying naked with minors to see if he could avoid having sex with them and if he fails everyone just says oops?

    It just seems so absurd to me.
    —————————-

    I agree. To me that testimony seemed totally irrelevant and I am surprised it was allowed. Since when are we using customs from thousands of years ago as standards of what is morally right today.

    Nothing about what Wayne was doing was chaste and pure or any kind of religious test. It was all sick and perverted and truly disgusting.

  25. avatar
    raycot December 11, 2008 at 7:07 pm #

    It’s not just the followers at Strong City who are being fed a steady diet of garbage.

  26. avatar
    Sam Redman December 11, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    Although I haven’t seen a transcript of the trial, I really can see where the prosecution might have missed many opportunities to make their case.

    1. The prosecution seemed to make a very weak effort to counter that Healed went to Wayne of her own volition. Healed described in her internet published testimony called “The Vision,” how she was motivated and filled with intense “desire” to lay naked with “Michael” after hearing “Michael” tell in a church meeting about his sexual encounters with two of the other older virgins (Esther and Danielle). Healed also stated how she was influenced to lay naked with “Michael” based on hearing the experiences of two other older women who first had sex with Bent and then described their encounters graphically for the others. My assumption (based on news reports) is that those motivations (influences to her state-of-mind) were not broached by the prosecution.

    They did establish that Bent called all virgins together and told them to pray to see if they had been selected as one of his virgins… so maybe that was sufficient to see that Wayne was the cause of the girls coming to him, but it seems that they left a lot unsaid which could have been quite convincing.

    2. Statements were not rebutted which had been make by the defense religious expert, regarding how Wayne was careful in not touching inappropriate areas. However, Healed’s own handwritten statement (in the handwritten letter sent to the assistant district attorney) described a positioning of their two naked bodies which would have been totally inappropriate. She described it as both of them skin to skin, nude in his bed with his head “laid” between her breasts and his naked chest “laid” against her naked body below her breasts. The prosecution should have introduced that document as evidence and used two unclothed dolls to show that bizarre body situation positioned on a model of a bed. That would have refuted any such a statement that he acted with propriety.

    3. The prosecution failed to rebut defense expert statements that Wayne was a groomer. But, with Wayne on the stand, they could have used any number of his documents to show grooming and preparation of the candidates. His “The Way of a Man with a Maid” article would probably have been the most effective evidence of his method of causing women to come to him as though it was their idea. He would not have denied that document to have been authored by him.

    I think the prosecution may have been overly confident that they proved their case. Allowing the elements of doubt, like those introduced by defense “experts,” to stand… is what can cause the guilty to go free (the proof has to be “beyond a reasonable doubt” in order to convict).

    Sam

  27. avatar
    Sam Redman December 12, 2008 at 5:18 am #

    In my previous post, as usual, I had some typos. I usually make no effort to correct the ones which are obviously typing mistakes (like up there where I said “make” and I should have said, “made”… its easy to figure those out). But, in that last post, I also left out the word “not” in a sentence (my point number 3) which would (of course) give it the opposite meaning. So, please re-read my post with this corrected wording:

    3. The prosecution failed to rebut defense expert statements that Wayne was not a groomer.

    Thanks,

    Sam

  28. avatar
    Tori December 12, 2008 at 7:39 am #

    It seems obvious what Wayne was up to from what they presented, but if they had more of the facts they would have a much clearer picture instead of just a glimpse into what has gone on… the dissolving of the marriages, Wayne taking several of the women for himself… They can rename it whatever they like, call sex a religious experience or an act of consummation instead, call a 12 year old girl a woman, call the grooming and training the leading of the Holy Spirit… but when you have a better picture of the facts, these things get far more obvious for what they are.

    I am surprised at how little the prosecution is bringing to light, and how little they are calling Wayne on his BS. I just hope the jury can see it clearly enough. The arguments on both side have been on the weak side. Im beginning to wish I was a prosecuting atty, just for cases like this.

    I would love to see Prudence get up there and lay it all out plainly to see. Go Prudence! Wooo Hooo!!! I so hope she gets the chance to. She is speaking for many of us.

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