United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors founder Malachi York has filed a motion asking a federal judge to vacate his 135-year prison sentence because of prosecutorial misconduct allegedly connected to his January 2004 child molestation trial.
In the motion, filed July 7, York alleges FBI agents threatened and coerced witnesses to testify against him and commit perjury. He also alleges prosecutors used allegations of pornographic tapes of York having sex with minors without any tangible proof of the tapes’ existence to taint the jury.
York was the leader of the Nuwaubian group described by prosecutors as a cult-like group that moved from a compound in upstate New York to Putnam County in 1993.
He was arrested in May 2002 on charges of molesting children inside the compound.
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York was convicted after a three-week trial in Brunswick.
The trial was moved because of pretrial publicity.
York was sentenced in April 2004 to serve 135 years in federal prison.
The motion includes affidavits of several of York’s alleged victims in which the victims now say York never molested them, but they say they were threatened by FBI agents to make false statements.
One of the alleged victims said she was at school when she was taken to the counseling office to be questioned about York, according to court records.
“I told them what they wanted to hear because I felt that I would go to jail if I didn’t go along with what they were saying,” the alleged victim said, according to court records.
Another alleged victim swore in an affidavit that an FBI agent told him that if he cooperated and made certain statements he could get his mother out of prison. The alleged victim still testified he was never molested, according to the records.
Another alleged victim said he was stripped from his family and taken to a small house in Milledgeville without his parents’ consent after being interviewed by the FBI.
“I was out of mind and guns were pointing at me. I thought that I was going to die and I told them anything,” the alleged victim said, according to the records.
York also alleges none of the prosecution’s witness interviews were recorded “as not to show the tactics used to convince these witnesses to perjure themselves in court,” according to the motion.
In addition to requesting that his sentence be vacated, York also has requested a hearing based on the witnesses recanting their testimonies.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was included in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.