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Sydney Siege

Sydney hostage taker identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian-born cleric and alleged sex offender

Sydney hostage taker identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian-born cleric and alleged sex offender

The man who took more than a dozen people hostage at Sydney's Lindt Chocolate Cafe has been identified as Man Haron Monis, an Iranian-born cleric who earlier this year was charged with more than 50 counts of sexual assault. Monis, a self-proclaimed "spiritual healer," was charged with assaulting women who had sought his services in western Sydney in 2002.

That's not all: Monis came to the attention of Australian authorities after he mailed poisonous letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers over a two-year period beginning in 2007. Furthermore, in 2013 he was charged with abetting the murder of his former wife.

In 2013, he pled guilty to the charges stemming from the poisonous letters. He is currently on bail for the assault and accessory-to-murder charges. --Ryu Spaeth