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Monday September 20, 2010 RNB's Religion News Blog • Tony Alamo:
Two years ago today
, a long line of Arkansas State Police cruisers and shiny, black, unmarked sedans snaked along U.S. Highway 71 toward Tony Alamo Christian Ministries
in Fouke, Ark.
Less than a week after the raid, Alamo, whose given name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman
, was arrested
as he checked out of a hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz. He has been in custody since.
Less than a year after his arrest, Alamo was convicted on all 10 counts
in a federal indictment accusing him of transporting five women he wed as children across state lines for sex.
In November 2009, Alamo received a 175-year sentence.
He is incarcerated in federal prison in Tuscon, Ariz.
On Tuesday, Alamo’s defense attorney, John Wesley Hall Jr. of Little Rock and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner will present oral arguments concerning Alamo’s appeal of his conviction
and sentence before U.S. 8th Circuit appellate justices in St. Louis.
Wednesday July 21, 2010 Tony Alamo:
Cult leader Tony Alamo
should get a new trial because sex with minors was “incidental” to his purpose for traveling across state lines, his lawyer argues in Alamo’s most recent appellate brief.
The lawyer’s brief also argues Alamo deserves to be resentenced by a different judge because of statements U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes made after imposing a 175-year term.
Thursday June 24, 2010 Tony Alamo:
Tony Alamo’s conviction by a jury was based on sound evidence and his sentence by a judge on federal law, a brief filed Monday by the government states.
U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner the jury found the five Jane Does listed in Alamo’s indictment credible witnesses and outlines how each victim was made to travel with Alamo so that his sexual relationship with them could continue.
Wednesday June 23, 2010 Tony Alamo:
Ex-followers say that by the late 1990s Tony Alamo
was living in this sprawling compound with more than a dozen women, some of whom he called his “spiritual wives.”
Though no legal documents were ever signed, Jeanne, Amy and Desiree say they were three of Alamo’s “wives.” But when they said their vows, they hardly qualified as women — they were still girls.
Tuesday June 22, 2010 RNB's Religion News Blog • Tony Alamo:
A judge has granted
mattress factory Tempur-Pedic International Inc. permission to inspect 3,500 mattresses at a warehouse owned by members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries
-- a cult of Christianity whose leader was recently sentenced
to 175 in prison.
Thursday November 19, 2009 Tony Alamo:
Among other things, the rulings said the children faced danger of beatings and forced fasts ordered by 75-year-old evangelist Tony Alamo convicted earlier this year of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex and sentenced
this month to 175 years in prison.
In one of the appeals court rulings today, Judge Robert J. Gladwin wrote that the evidence “presented a clear picture of the danger to children in the ministry compound at Fouke.”
Friday November 13, 2009 Tony Alamo:
Evangelist Tony Alamo
was sentenced Friday to 175 years in prison for taking little girls as young as 9 across state lines to have sex with them.
The decision punishes him for the rest of his life for molesting children he took as “brides” in his ministry.
Alamo, 75, had denied the charges, claiming they came from a Vatican-led conspiracy against the church he led, called the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.
Friday October 23, 2009 Tony Alamo:
The alleged enforcer of evangelist Tony Alamo
must pay $3 million in restitution to two boys he’s believed to have beaten bloody
on the preacher’s behalf and left haunted for life, a federal judge ruled Thursday.
The teens have also sued Alamo.
Wednesday October 7, 2009 Tony Alamo:
TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) – A federal judge has delayed a sentencing hearing for evangelist Tony Alamo
, who was convicted
on charges of taking young girls across state lines for sex, AP reports.
U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes changed the date Tuesday from Oct. 26 to Nov. 13.
According to the Texarkana Gazette
, if sentenced to the maximum on each count and if ordered to serve the terms consecutively, Alamo could receive 175 years in a federal prison.
Friday October 2, 2009 Tony Alamo:
When Tony Alamo was arrested
last year, his enforcer — John Erwin Kolbeck — fled and hasn’t been seen since
The television show America’s Most Wanted
is in Fort Smith, Arkansas to take the story to a national level in hopes of finding him. [video]
The constitutionally guaranteed right to religious freedom didn’t give Tony Alamo
the right to order beatings, force fasts and falsely imprison, according to a federal judge’s ruling
Wednesday in a lawsuit
filed by two men who claim to have been beaten as children at Alamo’s bidding.
“The principle of religious libert
y does not give one the liberty to physically attack others; when a threat to society’s or another individual’s safety appears, the power of the state to prevent or punish is obvious,” said a decision from U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes.
Saturday September 26, 2009 Tony Alamo:
State child-welfare officials say a baby born to followers of convicted
evangelist Tony Alamo
is at substantial risk of injury.
An affidavit filed last week in Miller County Circuit Court by a caseworker with the state Department of Human Services said the 3-month-old boy is in danger of abuse.
The affidavit also says a judge in January ruled that the Alamo ministry was an unfit environment
for the boy’s four siblings.
Tuesday August 4, 2009 Tony Alamo:
Two members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries
were released from jail Monday after spending more than seven months behind bars for refusing to reveal the whereabouts of their children.
Many children of Alamo followers have been taking into protective custody.
Tuesday July 28, 2009 RNB Roundup:
In today’s RNB Religion News Roundup: Scientologists harass Swedish family; John Travolta a Scientologist ‘now and forever’; and Scientology’s PR push.
Also: a summer camp for atheist kids; Much to do about the Islamic headscarf; a guide pony for a blind Muslim woman; and assorted Islam-related terrorism items.
Plus religion news briefs…
Friday July 24, 2009 Tony Alamo:
, a one-time street preacher who became an outfitter of the stars and fought the federal government over claims he underpaid followers for church work, was convicted Friday of taking five girls across state lines for sex.
Alamo has blamed the Vatican for his legal troubles, which include a four-year prison term for tax evasion
in the 1990s.
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