Tulsa police arrest suspected cult leader on lewd molestation

Tuesday, October 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- A Tulsa man faces charges of lewd molestation and forcible sodomy related to what authorities said appeared to be part of a required ritual for a cult.

Jermol Gentry, 24, was arrested at his apartment Tuesday for allegedly molesting a 14-year-old follower of his cult, police said.

Gentry reportedly called himself "Arch Angel Michael" and would find people to be part of his group at arcades and through friends of other youths he already knew, Detective Rodney Russo said.

"He basically would tell these kids that they are there to assist God in the end," Russo said. "He used religion and martial arts in this process."

Russo said as many as four other victims filed reports that date back to 1997.

The investigation revealed that Gentry claimed to have "trained" 40 to 50 followers ages 14 to 24 to be a part of the group, but Russo said the group rarely had more than five or six members.

To gain membership, the males were told they had to allow Gentry to molest them, police said.

Tulsa's East Central High School appears to have been targeted by Gentry, police said.

Members alleged to police that when they tried to leave the group, they were assaulted and sometimes injured, police said.

Russo said the investigation is ongoing.