Sweat Lodge Guru Indicted for Manslaughter
Arizona has indicted and arrested motivational speaker James Arthur Ray, the spiritual guru who led a retreat in October at which 3 people died and more got sick during a ceremony inside a sweat lodge. His bond is set at $5 million.
The indictment is here. There are three counts, each alleging he recklessly caused the death of the victim. Manslaughter in Arizona is a class 2 felony which carries a penalty of up to five years. His attorneys released this statement, saying he had been cooperating in the probe.
"This was a terrible accident – but it was an accident, not a criminal act. James Ray cooperated at every step of the way, providing information and witnesses to the authorities showing that no one could have foreseen this accident," the statement read. "We will now present this evidence in a court of law, and we are confident that Mr. Ray will be exonerated."
Ray was arrested at his lawyer's office. I guess they couldn't pass up the opportunity for a perp walk. The $5 million bond seems completely excessive.
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