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By Valerie D. Lockhart
SUN EXECUTIVE EDITOR
After serving 16 years of a 135-year sentence for RICO and child molestation charges in Colorado’s ADX Florence Penitentiary, key witnesses that testified against Dr. Malachi Kobina York are recanting their stories.
Several witnesses have openly admitted that a scheme planned by York’s son, Yacub Muhammad (aka Jacob York), was made to falsely accuse the 73-year-old leader of the Nuwaubian Nation of Moors of horrible offenses that could easily have him convicted and locked up for the rest of his life.
“I was never molested by Malachi York,” said Habiybah Washington, one of the primary witnesses during a video confession. “I do not know of anyone he has molested. I do not know of any children he has ever had sex with. I never took children to him for the purpose of sex.”
Washington, who testified that she was molested by York at 13, says her testimony was part of a “conspiracy” to seek revenge for the death of Jacob’s mother, who reportedly died from a brain aneurism.
“In May 2001, I had a conversation with Jacob at his house. Jacob said he wanted his father to go to jail and that his father did not deserve to live,” said Washington. “He asked me to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with a set of false information against his father so that he could be arrested and taken to jail for acts he did not commit.”
The plan was made during an outing to South Beach Florida attended by Jacob, Nicole Lopez, Washington and several youth.
“I know all of the alleged victims personally. I was at Jacob’s house, and they invited me to the trip to Florida to reunite with old friends. I would see Jacob talking to the girls telling them to tell the FBI they were molested by his father and that they saw other children being molested,” recalled Farah Muhammad, who witnessed the scheme being devised. “It was an eight-hour drive. Jacob financed the whole trip. We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel. On the way down, Jacob would talk about how he hated his father because he wouldn’t give him money for his record deal and blamed him for his mother’s death. ‘If you say child molesting, automatically people would believe you,’ he said. He constantly brought it up. I need you to say that you were molested and that you brought (a child) to be molested. I was 17 at the time.”
Other witnesses such as Abdus Salaam LaRoche, Taariq Noel, and Issa Michael Johnson recanted their testimony and signed sworn affidavits that revealed they testified as a result of threats made by federal agents to harm their families, favors or monetary offers. Damon Pryor and Leah Mabry corroborated the plan made in Florida.
“Yea, he (Jacob) was behind it all. We were going to figure it out on how we were going to set it up,” said Mabry. “We were just going to back each other’s story, whichever way we could even if it meant lying for each other.”
Medical evidence that was denied in court revealed that some of the alleged victims suffered from venereal diseases. Yet, Dr. York tested negatively for any STDs.
Dr. York was also convicted of 13 charges of Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization (RICO) that accused him of transporting minors across state lines for the purpose of engaging in unlawful sexual activity and unlawfully structuring cash transactions to avoid federal reporting.
“I know that I previously stated that Malachi York never told us not to structure any money, and he also never told us not to sign or not to report when we made over $10,000 dollars,” admitted Washington. “He never told us not to ever file that report. In court, I was told Nicole Harden told the FBI that he did tell us not to sign that document, I would have known if he would have said that because I was in charge of the money, I was the person that was in charge of the financial office. If anything was told about finances, it would have definitely came through me. As a matter of fact, he was very, very serious about handling his finances in a legal way.”
The unjust conviction led to seizure and sale of 476-acres of land in Georgia owned by the Nuwaupians and York’s imprisonment, where he has been denied proper medical care, abused by prison guards, housed in unsanitary conditions and denied access to commissary sent by family and supporters.
“I do not believe that Malachi should be in prison for crimes he did not commit,” Washington added. “My lawyer and Jonathan Marks, Malachi York’s lawyer, have explained to me that I am putting myself at risk by signing this affidavit. I know that but I want the truth to come out. I make this affidavit of my own free will.”