HawaiiNewsNow – A leader of an alleged cult who was arrested on the Big Island this week remains behind bars, unable to make bail.

A Hilo judge denied the leader’s request for supervised release and bail reduction on Friday, Hawaii News Now reported. 

His attorney called it unconstitutional and is demanding a jury trial.

“To essentially tell him you are either going to stay in jail or you are going to leave the island, I don’t know if that is appropriate,” said defense attorney Evan Smith. “In his own words, unconstitutional for somebody to try to tell him you can’t come here, and we are going to make you stay in jail until you act right.”

He had just arrived in Hawaii the day before and signed paperwork saying he would quarantine for 14 days.

On Friday, the 38-year-old stood in his cellblock at the Hilo jail, cuffed, attending his initial court appearance virtually.

“We are concerned that this defendant does have financial means. He appears to have quite a following on social media and there were petitions to gather bail for all of the members,” said Deputy Prosecutor Kim Angay.

Bishop proclaims himself the leader of the so-called “Carbon Nation.”

He and 19 of his followers were arrested this week in Puna for breaking the mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors.

He recorded his arrest.

Media reports say Bishop and his followers have been kicked out of several Central American countries on a variety of accusations from endangering people’s welfare to sex crimes.

Prosecutors say he has a criminal record in Georgia – a 2013 battery charge and a 2016 unlawful interference with custody of a minor charge.

Haunani Miyasato lives next to where they were staying.

She says there were still people staying at the vacation rental as of Friday evening.

“Once I know for sure they are gone and I see the tents down in the yard and I see the cleaners coming to clean that vacation home, then I will feel safer,” Miyasato said.

To read the original story go to Hawaii News Now.


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