Cult Leader Jailed in Australia for Molesting Girls

New York Times / August 11, 2000
By Agence France-Presse

ELBOURNE, Australia, Aug 11 -- A 71-year-old "guru" of a religious cult who collected a harem of nine wives was Friday jailed for seven-and-a-half years for molesting four young girls.

County Court Judge Mervin Kimm ordered Alistah Laishkochav to serve a minimum non-parole term of five years. Laishkochav was convicted on 16 counts of indecent assault, one of sexual penetration, three of attempted penetration, and one of recklessly causing injury against children aged between seven and 11.

The trial was told that New Zealand-born Laishkochav had in the 1970s drawn followers to him attracted by his "spiritual powers". Over the years he fathered 63 children.

Crown prosecutor George Slim said he became a guru, leading a cult devoted to beliefs set down by him and based on the Jewish, Muslim and Mormon religions.

The four girls were assaulted by Laishkochav at the cult's property near Geelong in Victoria between 1987 and 1991.

Kimm said Laishkochav was not being sentenced for his lifestyle, although it was his role as "spiritual leader" which enabled him to carry out the "abhorrent criminal acts".

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.