Tulsa man claiming to be religious leader, arrested for having sex with minor
Wednesday, October 25th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6
A Tulsa man who police say ran a religious group involving sex with teenage boys is behind bars. A sex crimes detective says 24-year-old Jarmol Gentry admitted he molested one young victim. Now officers are looking for more possible victims.
Police tell the News on Six they arrested Gentry after an investigation that started in February. They believe he convinced several teenage boys, and men ages 14 to 24 to join a religious group he was leading.
"These young men were being recruited by Mr. Gentry to join his group, cult, gang whatever you want to call it,â€ said Tulsa police detective Wayne Allen. â€œIn order to become a member of his group, the young men had to submit to certain lewd acts with Mr. Gentry."
Police say Gentry appears to have targeted students at Tulsa's East Central High School, although school administrators say that's not the only school that possible victims may have attended. "Basically, we became aware of a situation we knew we needed to involve the police in, and we did,â€ said Tulsa Public Schools spokesman John Hamill.
At the suspect's apartment, The News on Six talked to two people who say they're Gentry's friends. They declined to give their names. One individual said, "I've been best friends with him a long time, and if he was doing something like this it was behind my back. Other than what I know, he's pretty much a moral person.
Sex crimes detectives say Gentry told victims he was the arch angel Michael, and that he was their ticket to heaven. "We're researching, questioning people now as to how many more young people may have been approached by Mr. Gentry,â€ Allen explained. â€œHow many may have participated in his group, and how many may have been approached, but refused to participate."
Police say Gentry was booked into jail Tuesday on a felony complaint of lewd molestation of a minor. A judge set bond for Gentry at $200,000.