U.S. releases cult leader arrested in Chihuahua

Arizona prosecutors set Orson William Black free after charges against him were dropped eight months ago
Orson William Black - Courtesy of the PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE
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Arizona prosecutors have released Orson William Black Jr., a man who led a polygamist cult in Chihuahua, Mexico, who allegedly “married” two underage girls in the United States and was suspected of the murder of three American men.

Black, 56, was arrested 10 days ago by Chihuahua prosecutors after the FBI informed them Black had a pending arrest warrant. However, he was set free on Thursday, a day after he was deported from Mexico, seeing that Attorney General Mark Brnovich dropped the charges against the polygamist eight months ago, despite the complaints of one of the relatives of the then-underage victims.

Pennie Petersen, sister of the victims, was the one who filed charges against Black for having sexual relations with an underage girl, which prompted the polygamist to flee to Mexico.

Petersen told the press of the United States she feared Black would be set free unless the attorney general of Arizona reinstated the child sex-abuse charges and she even started an online petition to have them refiled.

According to the press in Arizona, they have asked the attorney general or his team to provide a statement as to why the charges were dropped, but have received no response thus far.

Orson was arrested in Mexico at the house where he, his five “wives”, and their children lived, located in a Mennonite community in Chihuahua. He was handed over to officials of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

On the murder of the three Americans, reports say Black has been ruled out as a suspect and sources on both sides of the border suggest the murders may have been carried out by members of a drug cartel.



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