Woman ‘married’ to pastor at age 8 to retake stand
TEXARKANA, Ark. — An 18-year-old woman who says she was sexually abused by evangelist Tony Alamo is set return to the stand at his federal trial on child-sex charges.
The woman is scheduled to be cross-examined by the defense Friday.
She already has told the trial that she dodged security cameras and guards to escape from Alamo’s compound in 2006 — six years after being “married” to the preacher as an 8-year-old.
Girl ‘married’ at 8 says sex started in 3rd grade
A woman who said evangelist Tony Alamo “married” her at age 8 told federal jurors Thursday that he sexually assaulted her repeatedly until she escaped his compound in late 2006.
The woman, now 18, said Alamo groped her at age 8. She said Alamo began having sex with her when she was a 9-year-old third-grader who weighed only 98 pounds.
Alamo took explicit photographs of her that year with an instant camera and, on looking at them, called her a “whore.” She said she didn’t understand the term but that Alamo told her it was a good thing.
A woman who noted in her Bible the first time she had sex with evangelist Tony Alamo — at age 14 — told jurors in his sex-crimes trial Thursday that she was married to the flamboyant pastor that year in a prison visiting room.
She was the third former child bride of Alamo’s to testify to having sex with him below age 18. A woman from Texas, now 33, said on the witness stand earlier Thursday that the minister made light of taking a young girl on the road as a wife and sex partner.
“It was a joke in the house that she was underage,” she said. “It was a flaunting that he could get away with this.”
The Texas woman said Alamo ran her husband out of the church and took her as another of his brides. She told jurors that, while sexually assaulting her the night of their marriage, Alamo screamed out: “The blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is against you, Satan.” She was 17 then, Alamo was age 59.
She said she didn’t contact authorities for years because Alamo had taught his followers that the government justice system was evil.
“This was the courtroom of Satan and we were in the courtroom of God” with Alamo, she told jurors.
Witness: Alamo described sex abuse
TEXARKANA – Even after being pressured to become one of evangelist Tony Alamo’s wives when she was just 15, and then put on a schedule to have sex with him once a week, a woman testified Wednesday that she was horrified when Alamo came out of his bedroom one day and made an announcement about the latest object of his affection.
While two of his wives listened, Alamo described in graphic detail how he had just laid beside an 8-year-old girl, the niece of one of his other wives, and fondled her while she held a stuffed animal, the accuser and former wife, now 30, testif ied. She said Alamo told them he planned to take the 8-year-old as a wife.
“At that point my jaw dropped so far down I had to remind myself to close my mouth,” the woman testified.
Wearing a dark suit jacket and white blouse, with straight brown hair falling below her shoulders, the woman testified Wednesday that she lived at Alamo’s house with several other wives, including five younger than 18. The wives helped Alamo prepare his recorded sermons and religious tracts, took turns spending the night with him and gave him massages, sometimes using “massage machines,” the woman testified.
The wives were not allowed to leave Alamo’s house without permission, and they were punished for supposed misdeeds by being beaten or forced to fast, the woman testified. At one point, she said, Alamo pressured her into say- ing she had had sex with her own father and another of Alamo’s wives.
When Alamo made the announcement about the 8-yearold girl, who is also an alleged victim in the case and is expected to testify, the woman said she pointed out that Alamo had preached that girls must begin menstruating before they can be married. She also noted that Alamo was married to the girl’s aunt.
“He told me to shut up, and that I shouldn’t question what the Lord tells him to do,” the woman testified. She said Alamo said he would just divorce the girl’s aunt.
“I questioned that – how could you be divorcing [the aunt] when just a couple days earlier, she was in your bedroom?” the woman testified. “He just told me to shut up.”
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