August 21, 2009

Nuwaubian leader claims torture, kidnapping in lawsuit

Atlanta Journal-Constitution/December 2, 2003

Macon -- The leader of the Nuwaubian religious sect has filed a lawsuit claiming he was kidnapped and has been tortured since a 2002 arrest on child molestation charges.

Malachi York, who remains in custody awaiting a federal trial in January, claims abuses ranging from being denied medication to "coercive sexual conduct" in the 11-page filing.

York refers to himself as "Chief Black Thunderbird 'Eagle'" throughout the claim, filed last week.

While being held for psychological evaluation in New York, York claims he was "blindfolded, hoodwinked and chained to a brick bed when inquiring phone privileges."

His other claims include being denied kosher food, being served discolored water and being "forced to co-inhabit with inmates that have a religious and racial conflict of interest."

On May 8, 2002, York was arrested on state and federal charges of molesting children.

The United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors is a cult group started in New York in the early 1970s.

York -- who has alternately claimed to be Muslim, Christian, Native American and from another planet -- moved the group to a 476-acre farm in Putnam County in 1993.

Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, who was among the state and federal prosecutors and law enforcement agents named as defendants, said the suit lacks merit.

"Who knows what it is or what it means," said Sills, who has been sued unsuccessfully several times by York and his followers. "All it means to me is it will cost us some more money at some point in time to file the appropriate motions to get it dismissed.

"He's never been tortured or under duress while he's been in my custody."

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