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Four Monks Plead Not Guilty To Sexual Assault of Child

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  • Melanie Jula Sakoda
    Submitted by Melanie Jula Sakoda http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=5219840 Four Monks Plead Not Guilty To Sexual Assault Of Child Johnson City -- Three
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 31 4:15 PM
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      Submitted by Melanie Jula Sakoda

      http://www.kxan.com/Global/story.asp?S=5219840

      Four Monks Plead Not Guilty To Sexual Assault Of Child


      Johnson City -- Three monks pleaded not guilty in court Monday to
      charges of sexual assault of a child and organized criminal activity
      at a Hill Country monastery.

      The monks were charged last week after a raid at the Christ of the
      Hills Monastery, near Blanco. Blanco County District Attorney Sam
      Oatman says the raid was to search for what he called "instruments
      of child abuse."

      The indictments relate to one boy allegedly assaulted while a teen,
      starting in 1993.

      The monastery's founder Samuel Greene is free on his own
      recognizance due to health problems. Oatman says Greene waived his
      right to an arraignment and didn't appear in court Monday in Johnson
      City, but he also pleaded not guilty.

      A fifth man, 45-year-old Jonathan Hitt, already is serving a 10-year
      prison sentence for a 1999 conviction for indecency with a 14-year-
      old novice monk studying at the monastery in 1997. Oatman said Hitt
      hasn't entered a plea on the new charges.

      The Blanco County sheriff says he believes there are other victims
      molested and abused by these monks.

      KXAN has learned that you can expect another one to come forward
      this week and file a civil lawsuit.

      His name is James Wright. He does not want to protect his identity.
      In fact, he wants his name used.

      Wright lives out of state and is not involved in the arrests made
      last week.

      He claims to be another victim who's suffered at the hands of these
      monks and their alleged perversions.

      Wright was 15-years-old at the time of the allegations. He was what
      you call a novice at the monastery. In other words, a young boy
      living a monastic life.

      He claims he was molested at the monastery and at other locations..

      His allegations uncover what appears to be a monastery set-up to
      practice brainwashing, sexual abuse, drugs and alcohol.

      "First there was alcohol and marijuana, and it evolved to these
      sexual relationships and as far as James is concerned, he was told
      that his way to spirituality would be through this sexuality, it was
      brainwashing," plaintiff attorney Mark Long said.

      The civil suit will name three of the monks. It also names as
      defendants, the Russian Orthodox Church and the Christ of the Hills
      Monastery.

      It's expected to filed later this week.
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