Three more cult members held for refusal to testify


Boston Globe, May 4, 2000

FALL RIVER, Mass. (AP) Three members of an Attleboro religious sect were jailed after refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the disappearance of two babies.

Roland Robidoux, Tim Daneau and Michelle Robidoux Mingo were jailed Wednesday and being held without bail for contempt of court in the Dartmouth House of Correction. They will remain in jail until they agree to testify or the grand jury finishes its work, said Bristol County Sheriff's office spokesman Bernie Sullivan.

Jacques Robidoux, the son of Roland and brother of Michelle, has been jailed since November for repeatedly refusing to answer questions about the disappearance of his 10-month-old son Samuel and Samuel's infant cousin, Jeremiah Corneau.

Sullivan said the sheriff's department had been instructed to keep the four separate while they are in prison.

Two disaffected group members told authorities late last year that two baby boys born to members of the group were dead and buried in the wilderness of Maine's Baxter State Park.

Investigators failed to find the boys, but they did uncover journals authored by an unidentified group member that claim Jeremiah was stillborn and that Samuel was denied food for weeks before dying in the early spring, prosecutors have said.

The journal claimed group members viewed Samuel's death as the will of God, and that the sight of the hungry and crying child was used by Satan to test the faith of his 24-year-old mother, Karen Robidoux.

The strict Christian sect allegedly rejects conventional medicine and schools.


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