Sex cult leader deemed long-term offender

Guelph Mercury, March 14, 2000

GUELPH, Ont. (CP) - The man who led a sex cult made up of teen boys has been declared a long-term offender under the Criminal That means Kenneth James McMurray, 28, will be placed under mandatory supervision following his release from prison. He was sentenced Tuesday to 31 months, the remainder of a four-year sentence less time served in custody.

McMurray pleaded guilty last September to five counts of sexual assault relating to five members of the cult in nearby Erin. Court heard several teenage boys joined the cult between October 1996, and February 1999. The boys, from age 14 to 16, were forced by McMurray to participate in all manner of sexual conduct with one another and with him.

Group members were plied with marijuana and beaten if they questioned McMurray's leadership. The boys took an oath of silence, and came to believe McMurray was a supreme spiritual being who watched them constantly and could harm them at will.

In passing sentence Tuesday, Justice Norman Douglas said the evidence of the two teens "proves beyond a shadow of a doubt how diabolical the actions of this accused are."

In imposing the long-term offender designation, the judge recommended that the parole include prohibiting McMurray from going to any park, swimming area, school yard, playground or community centre where children may be. He also recommended McMurray be prohibited from seeking employment or volunteer positions which would allow him contact with children, and urged that he be sent for assessment and treatment for sexual deviance.

McMurray is also facing a charge of disobeying a court order for allegedly phoning two of his victims while in custody, contrary to an order made at the bail court that he not have contact with the boys.

He is expected to appear for a trial on that charge June 28. (Guelph Mercury)

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