UK: Maoist cult leader guilty of sex abuse charges

AP News
Posted: Dec 04, 2015 8:22 AM

LONDON (AP) — A Maoist cult leader has been found guilty of sexually assaulting his female followers and imprisoning his own daughter in a London commune for 30 years.

A jury found 75-year-old Aravindan Balakrishnan guilty of four counts of rape and six counts of indecent assault. He was also convicted of causing bodily harm, cruelty to a child and false imprisonment.

Prosecutors said Balakrishnan, known as "Comrade Bala," led a small radical communist group in London in the 1970s. They say he sexually abused and brainwashed his followers into believing he had God-like powers.

The case came to light in 2013, when police released three women from a south London house, saying they had been cut off from the outside world for decades.

Balakrishnan faces a maximum sentence of life in prison.