Cult Members Defend Their Child Molesting Patriarch
The 2008 conviction of then 67-year-old church leader Wayne Bent was reversed after the New Mexico Court of Appeals upheld the defense’s claims that the grand jury’s term was expired when it indicted him.
Wayne Bent is currently serving 18 years at Los Lunas Correctional Center. But for Wayne Bent’s son, Jeff Bent, and fellow church members Ashley Pickle and Bethabara Travesser, that reason is just the tip of the iceberg for problems in a case that’s really about freedom of religion.
The three drove from Union County to tell The Taos News their side of the story last week. Jeff Bent says the media frenzy surrounding his father tainted any chance of a fair trial, especially since the removal of the children came on the heels of a British film about the sect, released in the U.S. through the National Geographic Channel called, “The End of the World Cult.”
Once the film aired, Jeff Bent says his father became more caricature than man.
“My father’s trial had all the aspects of a legal lynching,” Jeff Bent said Aug. 9. “It was a foregone conclusion that they were going to get the cult leader.”