So-called spiritual leader indicted on rape charges

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EAST FLATBUSH -

The Brooklyn District Attorney's Office has indicted a self-proclaimed spiritual leader on rape charges, saying the man lured at least two victims into his East Flatbush apartment and took advantage of them.

The office says 51-year-old Nigel Kennedy twice lured women into the East 32nd Street apartment to perform a so-called church ceremony. In one case from August 2016, Kennedy allegedly met his victim in his religious goods store and invited her to his home.

Prosecutors say he then poured a clear liquid that tasted like alcohol into her mouth, causing her to pass out. She woke up naked on a bed. Prosecutors also describe a similar incident with the same defendant in May 2018, when they say another woman went to Kennedy's home for a spiritual reading. They say he also poured a liquid down her throat, and the woman woke up while she was being raped.

Both victims went to the hospital after those incidents and submitted sexual assault evidence collection kits.

The DA's office says Kennedy was arrested last month at John F. Kennedy International Airport and that his DNA matched the DNA collected in the hospital.

The office urges any other potential victims to call its action center at 718-250-2340.

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