Update: (July 18 ) Judge sets Wayne Bent’s bond at $150,000
(July 17) If you’ve spent time following any criminal or civil case, you know it’s not uncommon for court dates to change. But a a check with New Mexico’s Union County District Court Clerk this morning confirmed that controversial church leader Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser) is still scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow (Friday) at 10:30am in Raton.
In May, a grand jury indicted Bent on two counts of second-degree sexual contact with a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
This case could get even more interesting tomorrow as Bent recently proclaimed his vow of silence. In a July 1 post on his Web site, Bent wrote:
I will write no more, speak no more, or listen to you no more. Not until the children are released from their prisons will you ever hear from me or us again.
Soon after his vow of silence, Bent and his followers took their Web site (Strongcity.info) off-line. Members of the church also took down their videos and posts that had been on myspace and youtube.
Bent’s resolve–as declared in that July 1 post–appeared unwavering:
Go ahead and charge me with contempt. When you prove yourself not contemptible I will speak with you, but now the God of heaven holds you in contempt, for your deeds are exceedingly evil and grossly perverted.
On this arraignment eve (a hearing that is also scheduled to address Bent’s conditions of release), one must wonder if Bent will speak in court tomorrow. That’s assuming he appears.
It could all make for an interesting hearing Friday before Judge Gerald E. Baca.
NO CONFIRMATION THAT STATE RETURNED “HEALED” TO PARENTS
Beyond90Seconds.com has received an unconfirmed report that the State of New Mexico has returned 16-year-old Lakeisha Sayer (aka “Healed”) to her parents. State Police removed the teenager from Bent’s “Strong City” church property on April 22.
A source tells me that Lakeisha Sayer was returned to John and Elsa Sayer on Monday, July 14 following a court decision in Raton late last week.
Hoping to confirm the report, I called the Union County Courthouse this morning. A court employee told me she could not comment about the matter because the case is sequestered.
Finally, I have two additional legal document to share with you. As many of you know, two judges had been excused from this case. I’m posting the Notice of Excusals for Judge John M. Paternoster and Judge Sam B. Sanchez below (both are dated May 21):