Alleged cult leader silent at plea hearing

Reno Gazette-Journal/November 17, 2004
By Martha Bellisle

Trial was set for April 25 for a Reno man who prosecutors say led a religious cult in which he molested and raped two teenage girls in his "fantasy room" and mentally and physically abused their young brother.

Raymond Russell George stood with his head down and declined to respond when asked how he wished to plead to six felony charges, so Washoe District Judge Steven Kosach entered "not guilty" pleas for him Wednesday.

George, 57, was indicted Nov. 3 on three counts of lewdness with a child under 14, two counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of willfully endangering a child resulting in child abuse and/or neglect.

The lewdness charges each carry a maximum sentence of life in prison with probation possible after 10 years. The sexual assault charges also carry a maximum life term with probation possible after 20 years and the endangerment charge carries a six-year maximum term.

According to Deputy District Attorney Jim Shewan, George lived in 2001 and 2002 with his common-law wife, Mary Smalley-George, 53, and two girls aged 13 and 14.

The girls' parents, Doug Moulton, 37, and Marnie Moulton, 34, lived in an adjacent apartment with their son, age 11.

The group behaved like a religious cult with George, whom they called "Jacob," serving as their leader, Shewan said.

George would take the girls into his "fantasy and/or pleasure room" and molest and rape them when he wished, the indictment said.

Shewan said the girls initially denied that they were raped. They said they were married to George and behaving as husbands and wives should, the prosecutor said.

All four adults were arrested in September 2003. Smalley-George and the Moultons pleaded guilty to one count of child endangerment.

Smalley-George was sentenced to a maximum of six years in prison. Doug Moulton is serving a five-year sentence and Marnie Moulton was sentenced to a maximum of three years.

The court ruled that George was not competent to stand trial and he was sent to Lakes Crossing, a mental health facility in Sparks. But during an Oct. 15 hearing, Kosach ruled that George had received adequate treatment and was ready to stand trial.

He was indicted by a Washoe County grand jury that heard testimony from the three children, who live in another state with their grandparents, Shewan said.

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