updated 12/31/2008 8:56:38 PM ET 2009-01-01T01:56:38

An apocalyptic religious sect leader has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for sexual misconduct with teenage female followers.

Wayne Bent was sentenced to prison Tuesday for criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

New Mexico prison officials say the 67-year-old Bent has refused to eat since his arrival Tuesday at the Central New Mexico Correctional Facility at Los Lunas.

Tia Bland, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections, says Bent claims to be on a "religious fast." Bent is a self-described Messiah and leader of The Lord Our Righteousness Church in northeastern New Mexico near Clayton.

He has said he probably wouldn't survive prison because he would refuse to eat.

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