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Thursday, January 13, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Pacific Northwest

`Cult Deprogrammer' On Trial

Seattle Times Staff: Seattle Times News Services

MONTESANO, Grays Harbor County - A self-styled "cult deprogrammer" imprisoned a suburban Seattle teen for five days "to attack his religious beliefs," a prosecutor said as the Arizona man's trial got under way.

Rick Ross, 41, of Phoenix is charged with unlawful imprisonment in the January 1991 abduction of Jason Scott, now 21, from the Kirkland home of his mother, Kathy Tonkin. Tonkin has said she hired Ross to deprogram her son.

Scott, held at an Ocean Shores beach house, escaped after five days.

The trial is expected to last five to six days. Under standard sentencing guidelines, a conviction could carry a penalty of one to three months in jail.

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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