York accuser admits inconsistencies in
Macon Telegraph/January 8, 2004
By Wayne Crenshaw
Brunswick -- A woman who said cult leader Malachi York molested
her for several years admitted under cross-examination Wednesday
that some details of her testimony were inconsistent with previous
The 18-year-old woman, however, stuck by her story that York
engaged in repeated sex acts with her from the time she was 8.
Also Wednesday, the woman's older sister testified that as a
young teenager, she was filmed nude by one of York's female
followers who recruited and groomed her to have sex with York.
Lead defense attorney Adrian Patrick showed the 18-year-old
witness transcripts of her testimony to a grand jury and a
statement to FBI investigators in which she admitted some details
were different. For instance, she testified on direct examination
Tuesday that the first time she had vaginal sex with York was in a
trailer at the cult's compound in Putnam County, but she told the
grand jury and FBI investigators that the incident happened in
"I must have mistakenly said 'trailer' instead of 'house,' "
Also, Patrick showed her a report from an examination a year
ago at a children's hospital in New York after the FBI began
investigating the allegations. The report indicated that she told
the doctor York had vaginal sex with her when she was 8. She
testified Tuesday that she was 13 when that happened.
She disputed the accuracy of the hospital report.
"That's not what I said," she testified.
She also said she must have "lied by accident" when she told
the grand jury she had no money when she left York's group in
2001. She testified Tuesday that she had $300.
But a nationally known expert in child molestation testified
later in the day that child molestation victims usually give
inaccurate, mistaken or incomplete information because of fear and
embarrassment about the events.
"Their answers are related to the reality of being a compliant
victim and society's inability to deal with it," said retired FBI
agent Kenneth Lanning, who now consults on child molestation cases
across the country. "The kids feel guilty because they didn't say
'no.' " Lanning is known for developing a profiling system of
child molesters, whom he classifies as either "situational
offenders" or "preferential offenders."
Though he did not refer to York and said he has little
knowledge of the case, his description of a preferential offender
fit the image of York the prosecution is attempting to portray.
Lanning described such an offender as intelligent, methodical and
able to get away with molestation offenses for many years with
many different children. They often seduce children gradually and
use older victims to recruit younger victims. Such offenders also
gravitate to occupations where they could have authority over
Also Wednesday, a pediatrician and child abuse expert who
examined the woman said she found scarring and tissue loss that
were consistent with repeated sexual molestation.
The last witness of the day was the 18-year-old's sister, who
is now 28. U.S. District Court Judge Ashley Royal told the jury
she was not testifying as a victim as related to the charges
against York, but as a corroborating witness.
She testified that while the group, known as Nuwaubians, were
in Brooklyn in New York City, York began to lure her into a sexual
relationship through a 20-year-old woman she referred to as
Nathada. Nathada, she said, starting telling her at age 13 that
girls should be taught sex by males in "the family."
"She did ask me would I mind if (York) taught me different
things about sex," she said.
Nathada later demonstrated oral sex techniques on a sex toy,
and then asked if she was "ready for the real thing," the witness
said. She said she "chickened out" but later did perform oral sex
on York. She also said the older woman made a video of her in the
nude, which the woman told her she gave to York, then later told
her "he liked it."
At about that point, Royal halted court for the day. The
woman's testimony will continue this morning.
The woman's statement about how she was gradually lured into
sex with York also is consistent with her sister's testimony. The
younger sister testified that a 15-year-old girl approached her
when she was 8 with the suggestion that she have sex with York.
Juanita Tomlinson, a former employee of Wal-Mart in
Milledgeville, testified that York came to the jewelry department
with a girl who appeared to be 12 to 14 years old and bought her a
diamond ring. She said he later returned with another girl, about
the same age, and also bought her a diamond ring.
The 18-year-old had testified that York bought diamond rings
for girls who had sex with him.
But under cross-examination Tomlinson said the two girls could
have been York's daughters.
York, 58, is facing 13 counts of child molestation and
York and his followers moved from New York to Putnam County in
1993 to a 476-acre farm, where they erected numerous
Egyptian-style structures. York has claimed to be Muslim,
Christian, American Indian and from another planet.
Wednesday, the 28-year-old witness said that in her early years
in York's group, he claimed to be the angel Michael and that he
was 76 trillion years old. She also said he claimed to have 19
His trial, which is expected to last three weeks, was moved
from Macon to Brunswick because of pretrial publicity.