By Park Si-soo
Notorious cult leader Jung Myung-seok received Tuesday a six year prison sentence for raping and sexually abusing his female followers.
The Seoul Central District Court said in its ruling, ``Jung is senile and has no criminal record. But he repeatedly raped and sexually harassed several female followers who had trusted him as the Messiah, inflicting immense mental damage on his victims.''
``Even worse, the accused took no action to mitigate their pain and show remorse for what he did.''
Jung, who headed the cult Jesus Morning Star or JMS, was indicted in February on charges of sexual abuse.
He fled the country in March 2001 when police began investigating him after former members of his cult came forward with his history of sexual violence. He was caught by Chinese police in February this year and extradited to Seoul, ending seven years of exile overseas.
In 1999, JMS members made threats against the head of an association representing Jung's victims for defaming Jung.
Jung formed JMS in the early 1980s, calling himself a messiah who can lead people to salvation. His doctrine says Jesus failed in his role as savior and denies the concept of resurrection.