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Australian Media on Paganism

Cult leader charged with rape

by AAP, 13th Nov, 2000

THE high priest of a religious cult faced court today charged with two counts of rape and two counts of indecent assault on a female member of another cult.

The 32-year-old Melbourne man, who works for an Internet company, did not speak during a brief appearance in the Southport Magistrates Court.

However in extradition proceedings last week, the Melbourne Magistrates Court was told that the man was the leader of the Brisbane-based religious group and he was duty bound to have sex with his high priestess.

The court was told that the man, who cannot be named under Queensland law, and a member of another cult allegedly raped the woman twice in 1997.

Investigators said the woman, aged 22 or 23 at the time, also would allege that she was to be used as a human sacrifice.

The accused man has denied the charges. His Melbourne lawyer Mr Ern Burrows said the case relied on the suppressed memory of the alleged victim and he welcomed the opportunity to clear his client's name.

His Queensland lawyer Bill Potts requested an adjournment stating that there was "a large brief of evidence" relating to the case.

The man was bailed on his own undertaking and was not required to appear in court when the case was next scheduled for mention on December 29.

According to the cult's official website, the group practices witchcraft and generally takes in 10 new members a year.

AAP - 13/11/2000


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