A court in Turkey has sentenced an Islamic leader of a sex cult to 1,075 years in prison for running a decades-old organization whose members were accused of various crimes ranging from sexual abuse of children to fraud and money laundering.
Adnan Oktar is popular in Turkey - especially for TV shows broadcast on his own channel that show him surrounded with scantily dressed women he called his "kittens," the South China Morning Post reported Tuesday.
A court found Oktar guilty of 10 separate charges - including rape, leading a criminal gang, blackmail and causing torment.
Oktar wrote books on Islamic creationism under the name Harun Yahya. He and hundreds of his followers were arrested in 2018 and his TV channel was shut down.
The court found Oktar guilty of supporting a group led by the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen - whom Turkey claims participated in an attempted military takeover in 2016.
The court sentenced two executives in Oktar's "religious" cult - Oktar Babuna and Tarkan Yavas - to 186 and 211 years, respectively.
During a September hearing, Oktar told a judge he had about 1,000 girlfriends which he attributed to his "overflowing of love in my heart for women."
"Love is a human quality, it's a quality of a Muslim," Oktar told a judge in another hearing in October. 'I am extraordinarily potent,' Oktar added on another occasion.
Most of the defendants maintained their innocence since a first court hearing in September 2019.
Some of the women were forced to take birth-control pills, one of the women at his trial identified only as CC, told the court.
CC said she joined the cult when she was 17 and Oktar sexually abused her and others.
Police found 69,000 contraceptive pills in his home. The pills, he said, were used to treat menstrual irregularities and skin problems.
The bearded 64-year old is expected to appeal the verdict and maintains that he is the victim of a plot.