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New Mexico sect co-leader faces up to 10 years in prison

GRANTS, N.M. — A co-leader of a rural western New Mexico paramilitary religious sect is going to prison after previously pleading no contest to child abuse charges.

James Green was sentenced Friday in Grants on convictions stemming from abuse of a Ugandan child brought to the United States illegally and from a 13-year-old boy’s 2014 death at the sect’s commune from a probable infectious disease.

District Judge Cindy Mercer sentenced Green to 13.5 years in prison but suspended 3.5 years, and the Gallup Independent reports that Green could get out of prison in about four years with credit for time served and for good behavior in prison.

Green’s wife, Deborah Green, was sentenced to 72 years in prison after being convicted of child abuse and other charges in the case.