York to be sentenced in March in child molestation case

The leader of a quasi-religious sect convicted of molesting children at the group's compound has been scheduled for sentencing.

A federal judge has set March 26 for Malachi York, head of the United Nuwaubian Nation of Moors, to be sentenced. He was convicted Jan. 23 on multiple counts of child molestation and racketeering in Brunswick, where the trial was moved because of media attention.

York's lawyer, Adrian Patrick, said he would fight for the shortest sentence possible. He said he also is working on an appeal, which won't be able to be argued until after sentencing.

Prosecutors have said York, 58, will likely get between 20 and 30 years in prison. York was found guilty in federal court on 10 counts of child molestation and racketeering. He was acquitted of charges he abused children during a trip to Walt Disney World in Florida.

York still faces 77 state charges of child molestation, to which he pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement a year ago. Patrick has said his client plans to withdraw those pleas.