Two days of testimony and two hours later, a jury convicted a 58-year-old purported religious leader of sexually abusing two sisters he considered his wives and held captive for more than two years in their parents' apartment.
Raymond Russell George was found guilty Wednesday by a Washoe District Court jury of multiple charges of lewdness with a child under 14, sexual assault and inflicting corporal punishment on the girls' younger brother. Judge Steven Kosach scheduled sentencing May 16 for the Reno man, who faces life in prison on each of sex abuse charge.
The swift verdict came despite George's attorney's contention that the children made up the bizarre allegations to escape their religious leader's strict and confining home. Authorities say George maintained a cult-like environment and used the Bible to brainwash the family.
"You think of cases like this and you think of Elizabeth Smart and what happened in Utah," said Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn. "That it happened in little Reno is chilling to the bone. This is the most diabolical of crimes I have seen take place in that it occurred so long in their own home."
George had been found mentally incompetent to stand trail after his arrest in 2003, when the 15-year-old sister snuck a letter to her grandmother and told her of abuse.
George's common-law wife, Mary Smalley-George, and the children's parents, Doug and Marnie Moulton, were imprisoned in 2004 on child abuse charges. The children's mother was a former school teacher employed as a Reno day-care worker when arrested.
George had met Doug Moulton while preaching on the streets across the country. The pair moved into an apartment on Barker Lane in Reno, followed by Marnie Moulton and children.
"He was a nobody and in a few months became God," Hahn said of George's relationship to the Moulton family.
The older girl, her sister, 13, and a brother, 11 or 12, were taken into custody by county social service officers after the arrests. They live with paternal grandparents in Oregon. Hahn said they are in high school and are struggling to get through their ordeal.
Testimony that began Monday revealed George had two theme rooms called the "pleasure" and "fantasy" rooms. He would play CDs that had labels on them like "Rayman Sexy" and "Hungry for Sex" in these decorated rooms and make the girls undress and wear silk clothing he made for them. He then dressed himself in a loin cloth and sexually abused the girls.
Testimony was that the children were home-schooled, not allowed to leave the home, had limited food, were forced to watch each other get battered and had to walk on their toes. They had to read the Bible daily for hours and their every move was dictated by George, who went by the name Jacob.
Hahn told jurors the girls were George's sex target and he had a psychological plan to overtake them.
Deputy Public Defender John Malone said his client lived a bizarre lifestyle of playing with computers all day and rubbing fabrics on his body in his special rooms.
"The Bible directed all portions of his life," he said.
Malone said no child would want to live George's lifestyle of no play and forced Bible reading.
"The allegations in this case were made up," he said.
Hahn showed the jurors a photo of the smiling siblings on a beach, holding hands. That image was taken six months before their parents moved in with George and his spouse. When the boy was approached by police, he was so angry he couldn't speak, only growl.
"Children live what they learn," Hahn said, of how the parents obeyed George's direction including where to sleep and to beat their son. He said the children had no social skills, their world was "turned upside down" and time had lost its meaning.
"Stephen King couldn't make this stuff up," Hahn said.