Bent speaks, jury deliberates

KRQE News, New Mexico/December 13, 2008

Taos - It will be a long weekend of waiting for New Mexico cult leader Wayne Bent, after a jury decided to continue deliberations on Monday.

Bent is accused of sex crimes against two of his teenage followers.

The Taos jury that heard his trial this week deliberated for five hours on Friday, but did not reach a verdict.

Bent insists that he did nothing wrong by lying naked with the teenage girls, and that it's common for him to kiss and embrace any member of his group.

Surrounded by his followers, Wayne Bent waited outside a Taos Courthouse on Friday.

News 13's Mike Paluska asked Bent if he'd do it again. At first, Bent and his followers chuckled at the question and he refused to give an answer. However, he'd later respond.

"Yes I would do it again, but I would have the state's permission," Bent said.

Bent also said that he would lie naked with non cult members if he and the non cult member had divine inspiration.

"[God] would have to tell me to also, and if he told me to let you do that; then hey where is the room," Bent said.

Of the estimated fifty followers that still remain in Bent's Lord Our Righteousness Church, they all insist that he did nothing wrong.

The followers said that they will follow him wherever he goes, even in death.

"I cannot live in captivity," Bent said. "I think I would probably drink water, but it would be a prayer time asking to god to deliver me, and if he didn't deliver me I would die."

Bent faces 30 years in jail if convicted.

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