(Beyond90Seconds.com broke this story)
(Clayton, New Mexico) Union County District Court Clerk Karen Vieites tells Beyond90Seconds.com that a Grand Jury indicted Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser) today on four counts.
“Two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, unclothed. And two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor,” Vieites told Beyond90Second.com shortly after 5pm.
According to Vieites, the Grand Jury began to hear the State’s case against Wayne Bent at 10am today and finished around 5pm. Vieites said that jurors only recessed for a 30-minute lunch
New Mexico State Police arrested Bent the morning of May 6 at The Lord Our Righteousness Church. The LOR is located in a remote area known as “Strong City” in the northeast corner of the state.
On May 8th, Bent’s son, Jeff Bent, appeared on CNN’s Larry King Live. King’s panel included former LOR member Prudence Welch. During the program, Jeff Bent said his father would not post bond.
Jeff Bent posted his father’s bond the following day, after an ambulance was sent to the jail. A judge had reduced Wayne Bent’s bond from $500,000 to $55,000.
On May 10th, Wayne Bent wrote about his experiences in jail and the charges he faced.
Just yesterday, a new post on the church’s Web site included 22 letters written in defense of Wayne Bent’s character and conduct. According to that post, the church delivered the letters to the District Attorney yesterday and requested that the letters be read to the Grand Jury.
No word yet on whether the letters were presented to the Grand Jury.
The Union County Courthouse is one of several courthouses in New Mexico’s 8th Judicial District.
Update: Read the Associated Press story here (May 21)
District Attorney Donald Gallegos said he made the decision to pursue indictments — shifting the case to district court — to avoid an open preliminary hearing in magistrate court in which the girls could have been subjected to cross-examination by Bent’s attorney. -Associated Press