May 29, 2002
By Payton Towns III
Eatonton -- One of three Nuwaubian women charged with sexual molestation had her bond set Tuesday morning during a hearing in front of an Ocmulgee Judicial Circuit Supreme Court judge.
Officials said Istiyr Cole remained in the Putnam County Jail on Tuesday afternoon after her bond was set at $2,500 by Chief Judge William A. Prior Jr. Cole was indicted on one count of child molestation and was arrested May 16.
Kadijah Merritt, charged with two counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation, and Chandra Lampkin, charged with three counts of aggravated child molestation and two counts of child molestation, were denied bond, officials said.
Merritt and Lampkin were arrested around 3 p.m. May 21 when they turned themselves in at the Putnam County Sheriff's Office. Both women, along with Cole, were indicted May 13 by a Putnam County grand jury.
Dwight D. York, known as Malaki Z. York, and Kathy Johnson were also indicted on charges by the grand jury. York was indicted on 116 counts of child molestation and aggravated child molestation and other sexual offense for molesting five victims - young girls and boys - from 1993 to 2001 at the Nuwaubian compound in Putnam County.
York was indicted on 74 counts of child molestation, 29 counts of aggravated child molestation, five counts of enticing a child for indecent purposes, four counts of statutory rape, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count of rape and one count of influencing a witness.
Johnson was indicted on four counts of child molestation and one count of aggravated child molestation.
York and Johnson are being held in federal custody. York was denied bond in federal court May 14, but Johnson received a $75,000 bond, which has yet to be posted. As soon or if she does pay bond, Johnson will be brought to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office, said Sheriff Howard Sills.
The five - York, Johnson and the three women - are facing, if convicted, 30 years on each count of aggravated child molestation and 20 years on each count of child molestation. The four females are charged with participating with York in the sexual activity at the time of the occurrences.
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