Polygamist guru faces new child sex charges

A Sect leader with nine wives who was jailed in Victoria for child sex crimes has been extradited to NSW to face new charges.

The Courier-Mail/March 8, 2003
By Katie Lapthorne

Alistah Laishkochav, 74, was jailed in 2000 for a minimum of five years for sexually abusing girls who lived at his Bells Beach, Victoria, commune.

The self-styled spiritual guru appeared in Melbourne Magistrate's Court yesterday after NSW police applied to have him extradited.

Five warrants were issued for Laishkochav in NSW relating to alleged indecent assaults on two girls, one 13, between June 1973 and May 1974.

The former guru is also accused of attempting to rape a girl, 14, at Byron Bay in 1992.

The polygamist moved to Australia from New Zealand in 1969 and drew his beliefs from sections of the Jewish, Muslim and Mormon religions.

While living in Sydney in the 1970s he began attracting a group of mainly young females to his communal lifestyle. A number soon became his de facto wives.

He moved to his Bells Beach compound in 1983 but uprooted his clan in 1992 for a move to Byron Bay after reports began circulating about his lifestyle.

A County Court trial in 2000 was told Laishkochav attracted dozens of young people from around Australia to his 10ha beach compound.

The jury was told Laishkochav and his nine wives slept in one large bedroom and he would prowl the house at night seeking and molesting the youngsters.

Four girls aged seven to 10 were repeatedly abused by him over a four-year period.

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