Wayne Bent found guilty of 3 of 4 charges

Updated at 2:04pm MST

A Taos jury has just returned the following verdict in the State of New Mexico’s criminal case against the leader of the Lord Our Righteousness Church:

  • Guilty of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor.
  • Guilty of two counts contrib. to del. of minor
  • Not guilty on one count of sex contact

According to the Associated Press:

Following the verdict, Bent said that God had told him that he would be convicted.
“Just as Jesus, they convicted an innocent man,” he said. (AP)

The Associated Press also reports that Bent, 67, faces up to a dozen years in prison.

KOB-TV investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola reports that Bent will remain on house arrest.

Since the trial began one week ago, Jojola has been providing up-to-the minute updates on the case as a special correspondent to Beyond90Seconds.com.

Follow today’s events leading-up to the verdicts, here.

Read KOB-TV/Associated Press initial report of guilty verdicts.

START-TO-FINISH WAYNE BENT TRIAL COVERAGE:

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
Day 6: Reporter’s updates from Wayne Bent trial

AUDIO: New interview about developments in this case with filmmaker Ben Anthony.  Anthony is shooting a new documentary for the National Geographic Channel.


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23 Responses to Wayne Bent found guilty of 3 of 4 charges

  1. avatar
    Sam Redman December 15, 2008 at 10:50 am #

    From my study of the New Mexico criminal codes, the following seems to be the situation about possible sentencing:

    Bent could get up to 19 years, if the maximum sentences are levied for each charge and are to be done consecutively. Lesser combinations are possible for concurrent and minimum sentences.

    4th degree felony 1 to 2 yrs (2 counts convicted)

    2nd degree felony 6 to 15 yrs (1 counts convicted).

    =========================
    Possible sentences:
    If consecutive and maximum: 19 years
    If consecutive and minimum : 7 years
    If concurrent and maximum: 17 years
    If concurrent and minimum: 6 years.

  2. avatar
    Mr. Bojangles December 15, 2008 at 11:33 am #

    Sam:
    Thanks for the info. I wonder what the least time would be — given time served, parole, and good behavior.

  3. avatar
    KM December 15, 2008 at 11:40 am #

    Is he on house arrest just until the judge sentences him? If so, any indication of when that might happen?

    Part of the criminal code says “Whoever commits criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree is guilty of a second degree felony for a sexual offense against a child and … shall be sentenced to a minimum term of imprisonment of three years, which shall not be suspended or deferred.

    Also it looks like he’ll have to register as a Sex Offender”.

    I. As used in this section, “sex offender” means a person who is convicted of, pleads guilty to or pleads nolo contendere to any one of the following offenses… (3) criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second, third or fourth degree, as provided in Section 30-9-13 NMSA 1978;

    Along with that goes a period of supervised parole of not less than five years after he serves his sentence.

    That’s just for the one count, not the other two.

  4. avatar
    Jan December 15, 2008 at 11:51 am #

    Thanks for the info. I wonder what the least time would be — given time served, parole, and good behavior.
    Mr. Bojangles

    15 Dec 08 at 11:33 AM
    —————————

    “Good behavior,” well I have to wonder if that is even possible. After all Wayne has stated that all he has done is in the name of religion. And who would be determining his good behavior? The people all around him believe his behavior is quite normal and acceptable. In fact he mocked the State last week, when he announced if found Not Guilty, he would have the State’s permission to continue.

  5. avatar
    James Reynolds December 15, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    I have to say I am amazed at times how ignorant and foolish people have become. I am glad there is someone like Travesser that is not ashamed to do what is right even in the face of everyone. Those who go nuts hearing about a man seeing a naked female child is the one that has problems. It is good the peoples have found guilt in Travesser because it reveals the sickness of mainstream society. Those with God in their hearts will never be afraid of the state to do what God instructs. It is refreshing to see it is man that forsakes the Lord and not the other way around as many claim with their actions. And this ‘law’ everyone talks about, ha, true laws cannot be broken, however some litigational scribbling has no strength. It is a joke to God, but God allows man to design his own laws out of love.

  6. avatar
    DB December 15, 2008 at 11:56 am #

    Sentencing is December 29th.

  7. avatar
    ron December 15, 2008 at 12:04 pm #

    How many people through history have pretended to know the mind of God?

  8. avatar
    raycot December 15, 2008 at 12:07 pm #

    “Those who go nuts hearing about a man seeing a naked female child is the one that has problems.”

    James Reynolds

    15 Dec 08 at 11:55 AM

    So let’s throw out child pornography laws then.

    Following your reasoning why not take it further…

    Those who go nuts hearing about a man laying naked with a female child is the one that has problems.

    Or why not even…

    Those who go nuts hearing about a man consummating with a naked female child is the one that has problems.

  9. avatar
    ron December 15, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    I would never ask you to babysit!

  10. avatar
    Stephanie December 15, 2008 at 5:39 pm #

    Will Anaiah Travesser be held accountable for encouraging minors to lay naked and have sex with WB?

    Seems strangely odd to me that this has not been brought to the table. She is accessory to the minor girls molestation is she not?

    WB needed a female to help guide the young ones along and her letter to them is proof enough to show the part she played in some of this.

    And if Anaiah Travesser played a role in this surely other women joined in guiding the young girls to go to WB’s bed too.

  11. avatar
    Sam Redman December 15, 2008 at 8:54 pm #

    I really don’t think this story is over and probably has some fascinating elements left to unfold.

    Bent had reported in late October that he was conducting a no food, no water fast. Such a fast can kill; in some situations in as little as ten days. In fact, that fast was what prompted the court-ordered move of Wayne Bent to a hospital when he didn’t show up for a scheduled court hearing. Since (or when) the verdict was announced, the sentencing date was described as December 29, but he was released to return to his compound until that sentencing date. So there is now a span of fourteen days prior to when he has been ordered to show up to hear the particulars of his impending prison term. What is interesting (or alarming), relative to his previous fast and in regard to these recent developments is that on Friday, he had made a statement about how (if convicted) he would be doing a water fast in prison, promising (or implying) that he would do it until his death.

    However, my thought is that when Bent made that statement, he was assuming that, if found guilty, he would be immediately held and placed in jail after the verdict until sentencing and that any anticipated fast (and especially one such as his previous, more austere deprivation) wouldn’t be possible in a jail situation. Perhaps, his thinking (when he was making those self-destructive predictions) might have been that he would have to wait until his time in state prison, where he would assume conditions might be more suited to the kind of water only fast he was promising. But it seems likely now that he might be inclined to do the fast, without water or food, after he was released “on his own recognizance” to go back to his Strong City compound (probably much to his suprise). Does this mean his impending death? And what is even more concerning, during his late October foodless, waterless, self-induced ordeal, several others in his group also were going without food and water. Will they be joining him now in similar self-destructive actions?

    Of particular interest is that, at that time, one follower (named Bernice) wrote a rather bizarre letter to Bent, describing not only her intention to join him in that masochistic exercise, but writing that this fast would result in the group being “translated” to heaven (along with two graves being opened and previously deceased, members rising from the dead). “Translation” is their term for leaving the earth, with their living bodies being transported to an ethereal existence without actually dying. Bent published that letter (which can be seen on the “mirror” site) in effect, giving his approval or at least, his acquiescence to her conducting such a mindless venture. Since we saw that nonsense (done in solemn sincerity) so very recently, it would seem that the likelihood of a suicidal, camp-wide fast, has an even greater probability now, in light of the surety of his sentencing and impending incarceration.

    If family members were concerned previously about the safety of their loved ones, shouldn’t they be seeking some sort of court ruling to cause actions which would prevent Bent from leading his, now even more vulnerable, followers (and yes, Bent is their unquestioned leader, contrary to lies by defense witnesses) into what would be, in effect, a murderous scenario?

    —Sam Redman

  12. avatar
    Jan December 15, 2008 at 9:24 pm #

    Mr. Redman has shared some concerns that I have been wondering about all day, ever since I learned of Wayne’s “house arrest,” for the next 2 weeks.
    I just find it so curious in this situation that they sent him home. I understand he is not a flight risk, but the kind of risk he is to his followers is much more serious.

  13. avatar
    James Reynolds December 16, 2008 at 12:28 am #

    I have spent considerable amount of time throughout this day wondering to myself, why the screams of crucify him when we all know what has happened relative to sound testimony. Really, fellows, let me ask. Really do you feel in your heart it is wrong to see a naked female child? or to place your hand upon her chest and kiss her? Really does that have to pertain to sex? Yes I am a man, Yes I can get aroused by the sight, but truly my mind nor yours has to be in that direction, nor does our mind even have to consider that. Provide me sanity and tell me that this is not the case with all men. I have to say, It is so scary to live in this world where all men are that crazy. I could play a game of chess with a naked girl and not have to even go in the direction all these accusations go. This is wild imagination I have seen. Please answer my questions if you can muster the patience. Thank you.

  14. avatar
    James Reynolds December 16, 2008 at 12:39 am #

    I love seeing naked girls. I understand that so well. Oh soo well. But so what. I love seeing beautiful forests covered in snow and the sparkling of sunlight bouncing off as I have today. Why does everything you men do return to perversion and evil? Because your lusts are never full as the grave is never full. Open your heart to God and something special happens in a second. Good night all.

  15. avatar
    James Reynolds December 16, 2008 at 1:08 am #

    My father in heaven says, even those in Jerusalem after it was destroyed had a chance to see the errors of their ways and turn to the Lord. It is not too late. Harden not your heart but be still in peace. I have the keys to heaven and hell and tell you to be still and know that I am God.

  16. avatar
    ron December 16, 2008 at 6:25 am #

    James, give Wayne your wife and little girls. Do you know how many people around the world claim the be Jesus returned. There is a former russian traffic cop who has over 10,000 followers. Adi Da Samraj just died two weeks ago, and he has over a 1000 followers who bought him his own private island in Fiji.
    Wayne is no more divine than any of them.

  17. avatar
    KM December 16, 2008 at 8:14 am #

    James,

    No one said the human body is not beautiful. God made us in His image. It’s the context of where, when and who is looking, talking about or touching someone else’s body.

    My spouse and I love each other and share that love in many ways, one of which involves consummation. That is a privilege reserved to each of us through our marriage vows 30 years ago.

    Our children know that we expect the same from them and although I can’t control their every move, they have had us as role models to learn from and know that it is indeed possible to be faithful through years of marriage. We have never allowed porn or anything of that nature in our home to help limit their exposure to things of what we consider to be abnormal sexual behavior although I’m sure they have been exposed to it while off at college.

    This past summer one of my sons married a beautiful young woman. They gave each other a wonderful gift, that of being chaste until their wedding night. I know that not everyone is able to do that, sometimes from their own actions as well as from the actions of others. I would not presume to judge someone else. But if possible, it is a precious gift to reserve for one special person in your life.

    WB has taken away a beautiful innocence from several young girls as well as stripping happiness from married couples and in some cases has taken away their chance for the gift of children.

    So, so wrong!

  18. avatar
    raycot December 16, 2008 at 11:02 am #

    James Reynolds

    “Why does everything you men do return to perversion and evil?”

    It doesn’t always…maybe not even the majority of the time…but sometimes it does. And when it does the consequences for the innocent and naive can be devastating. These laws are written from experience of the unacceptable that have happened when the actions of the perverted and evil man are not restrained. For everyone else…well it’s really no skin off their nose to comply with them anyway, and seeing the good purpose they agree with them. It doesn’t point to them being perverted and evil themselves, it points instead to them being sensible, reasonable, and concerned about their fellow man.

  19. avatar
    raycot December 16, 2008 at 11:55 am #

    Romans 13 (Amplified Bible)

    Romans 13
    1LET EVERY person be loyally subject to the governing (civil) authorities. For there is no authority except from God [by His permission, His sanction], and those that exist do so by God’s appointment.(A)
    2Therefore he who resists and sets himself up against the authorities resists what God has appointed and arranged [in divine order]. And those who resist will bring down judgment upon themselves [receiving the penalty due them].

    3For civil authorities are not a terror to [people of] good conduct, but to [those of] bad behavior. Would you have no dread of him who is in authority? Then do what is right and you will receive his approval and commendation.

    4For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, [you should dread him and] be afraid, for he does not bear and wear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant to execute His wrath (punishment, vengeance) on the wrongdoer.

    5Therefore one must be subject, not only to avoid God’s wrath and escape punishment, but also as a matter of principle and for the sake of conscience.

    6For this same reason you pay taxes, for [the civil authorities] are official servants under God, devoting themselves to attending to this very service.

    7Render to all men their dues. [Pay] taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, and honor to whom honor is due.

    8Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements].

    9The commandments, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not covet (have an evil desire), and any other commandment, are summed up in the single command, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.(B)

    10Love does no wrong to one’s neighbor [it never hurts anybody]. Therefore love meets all the requirements and is the fulfilling of the Law.

    11Besides this you know what [a critical] hour this is, how it is high time now for you to wake up out of your sleep (rouse to reality). For salvation (final deliverance) is nearer to us now than when we first believed (adhered to, trusted in, and relied on Christ, the Messiah).

    12The night is far gone and the day is almost here. Let us then drop (fling away) the works and deeds of darkness and put on the [full] armor of light.

    13Let us live and conduct ourselves honorably and becomingly as in the [open light of] day, not in reveling (carousing) and drunkenness, not in immorality and debauchery (sensuality and licentiousness), not in quarreling and jealousy.

    14But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh [put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature] to [gratify its] desires (lusts).

  20. avatar
    KM December 17, 2008 at 7:53 am #

    Good job Raycot!
    How can anyone deny the Word of God if you profess to believe in Him?

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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    […] Monday, a jury convicted Bent on one count of second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to […]

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