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Child rapist cult leader escapes jail in chopper
SAINT DENIS, Reunion (AFP) — A cult leader jailed for sex attacks on children escaped in a helicopter from a prison on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion on Monday, the regional administration said.
Juliano Verbard, who was serving a 15-year term for rapes and sex assaults on children, and two of his jailed followers were hauled on board a chopper hijacked by three accomplices, senior regional officials said.
Verbard's flight was France's 11th helicopter jailbreak since 1986, and is bound to revive questions about security in its jails...
...Verbard, 27, was the guru of the self-styled "Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary", a cult with no connection to mainstream Catholism...Verbard launched his cult in 2002 after convincing scores of followers that the Virgin Mary appeared to him every month. Adepts paid 20 euros (26 dollars) each for the honour of taking part in an appearance ceremony.
According to Verbard, Mary called him her "Lily of Love"...
...It was Payet's second successful helicopter jailbreak, and he was convicted of organising a third in which some of his accomplices also escaped.