National News

2nd New Mexico Christian sect leader accused of child abuse

Posted September 1

— Another leader of a New Mexico paramilitary religious sect rocked by child sexual abuse allegations was arrested Wednesday, making him the ninth member facing charges in connection with a widespread investigation.

James Green of the Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps was taken into custody on Wednesday on kidnapping, child abuse and tampering with evidence charges, according to court records. He was ordered held on a $250,000 secured bond.

His arrest comes after authorities raided his secluded western New Mexico compound last month. Other members and leaders are facing child abuse and child sexual abuse charges, including Green's wife and co-leader, Deborah, who faces charges of kidnapping and child sexual abuse.

Authorities have accused James Green of taking part in a plot to bring over an infant child from Uganda to the United States in 1997 by using forged documents, court documents said. Authorities said James Green convinced his daughter, Sarah, to falsely say the child was hers to smuggle her into the U.S., documents said.

The daughter later left the commune, but the Greens refused to let her take two of her children and the adopted Ugandan girl with her, according to court documents.

Authorities also say James Green took part in covering up the death of a 12-year-old boy who deputies believe died because the commune refused to give him medical treatment for flu-like symptoms.

After authorities began investigating the death, James and Deborah Green made members "clean up" all evidence of children living at the compound, court documents said, including photographs of children and family memorabilia.

"These items were placed into large plastic trunks and buried," an arrest warrant read.

The sect on Friday did not immediately respond to an email message from The Associated Press seeking comment on the latest arrest.

James Green previously denied his wife was involved in child abuse. He told the KOB-TV last week (https://goo.gl/mY9EKV ) "hundreds of kids" have safely passed through the group's compound in New Mexico.

The Cibola County Sheriff's Office says 11 children who lived at the compound are being cared for by the state and have been interviewed by an FBI forensic specialist. They were taken into custody after deputies arrested four members who were trying to leave the state with the children in two vans, said Cibola County Sheriff Tony Mace.

Mace said deputies believe members were trying to hide the children at another compound in Colorado, and authorities suspect their births were never properly reported to state authorities.

The Aggressive Christianity Missions Training Corps, founded in Sacramento, California, describes itself as a group that is "revolutionary for Jesus" and provides a free spiritual "ammo pack" to anyone who submits a written request. Photos of members show them in military-style clothing and on missions in Africa.

Its website is laced with anti-Semitic language and anti-gay tirades about same-sex marriage.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the sect as a hate group.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras

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