Agape leader Rocco Leo charged with assault

Adelaide Now, Australia/November 16, 2010

Controversial religious leader Rocco Leo has been charged with assaulting the estranged husband of a former parishoner.

The head of Agape Ministries - labelled a "doomsday cult" by opponents - is accused of brawling with Philip Arbon at Adelaide Airport in April.

Although listed to appear in the Holden Hill Magistrates Court yesterday, Leo did not attend.

The case was adjourned until January - no arrest warrant was issued, as Leo is not on bail.

Leo, 54, has yet to plead to one count of assault, one count of damaging property and one count of communicating a false representation to police.

Police will allege that, on April 14, he assaulted Mr Arbon - the man who first spoke out about the controversial church.

He and other former members claim Leo defrauded millions from his followers to buy a South Pacific island.

They claim Leo said the world's population would soon be implanted with tiny microchips containing all their personal details.

Agape members have denied this, but admitted microchipping was "discussed in Bible study class".

Mr Abon claims Leo attacked him when he tried to take a photograph of him, damaging his camera and backpack.

Police will further allege Rocco made false representations to their officers at Holden Hill following the altercation.

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