Accused cult leader ‘Nature Boy’ found guilty on all counts, including rape in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — An accused cult leader has been found guilty on all counts, including rape.

The jury began deliberating Eligio Bishop’s case Thursday evening after attorneys presented closing arguments.

Bishop, known as Nature Boy online, was sentenced to life without parole. He has 30 days to file an appeal.

Investigators have accused him of leading a cult known as CarbonNation, raping a member when she tried to leave in 2022, and posting revenge porn online after she left.

Thursday morning, the trial was delayed because Bishop said he was concerned Judge Stacey Hydrick was spreading COVID. On Friday, Channel 2′s Tom Regan was at the court to catch the verdict.

“He wants to be present for his own trial, but he doesn’t want his own health at issue,” said Defense Attorney Rob Booker.

Hydrick said she tested positive earlier this week. She canceled court Tuesday afternoon and all of Wednesday, but she returned Thursday. She offered masks and face shields.

“He’s tried everything he could to derail these proceedings,” said Hydrick.

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She said if he decides to leave, he will not be allowed back into the courtroom. She gave him the choice between watching the trial from an iPad in a separate room or returning to jail to watch it from a courtroom there.

Bishop chose to watch it from the jail courtroom.

When the trial began, Bishop expressed concerns about his shackles causing prejudice. By returning to jail, he would have to wear his orange jumpsuit.

“He understands the prejudice that exists, but he does not feel this is a prejudice he has created by being placed in the jail court. He is going to go back in the jail court,” his attorney told the judge.

“I think the records are very clear that I’m not banning him from this courtroom. He is electing to do so,” said the judge.

The judge did not tell jurors where the defendant went or why he left. She did tell them he went to watch from another courtroom.

The defense continued calling its witnesses once the trial began. The judge had to stop three of them for talking out of turn.

Juliano Diaz was one witness who spoke out from the witness stand after the attorneys finished questioning.

“Also, malicious prosecution,” Diaz said in the microphone.

The judge ordered deputies to escort him out of the courtroom.

Another witness, Porchae Wade, started her testimony by saying she wanted to put on record that she filed a complaint against the judge. All the while, attorneys and deputies were warning her to stop.


A third witness spoke up after prosecutors objected to a question calling it “hearsay.”

“The whole case is hearsay,” Kayla Buckner said in the microphone.

The defense called the witness to debunk the prosecution’s argument that Bishop leads a cult.

“It’s not a cult,” said Diaz. “It’s a tribe.”

Wade said Bishop did not control when they could eat or sleep, and he did not force them to use the restroom outside.

She said she did not consider him God, but “Yes, he is the Mosiah.”

During closing arguments, prosecutors reminded jurors to focus on the charges against Bishop.

“The fact that he’s a cult leader is not on trial,” said Coveney. “It’s how he used, exploited, and abused his members.”

The defense closed its case by pushing reasonable doubt.

“The state has not met their burden,” said Rob Booker.

Bishop was found guilty on charges of rape, false imprisonment, and sharing three pieces of sexually explicit content on social media.

Bishop now faces a possible sentence of life in prison without parole.

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