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.
U.S. District Court Judge Harry F. Barnes’ order comes as alleged enforcer John Kolbek remains a fugitive on a felony battery warrant stemming from one of the beatings.
Though Kolbek remains missing, lawyer W. David Carter said his clients can collect on any of a number of properties listed in the man’s name across the country. Testimony at Alamo’s recent child-sex trial showed the evangelist ordered his trusted followers to put church property in their names to avoid the Internal Revenue Service.
Now, that might be the church’s ultimate undoing as Alamo awaits sentencing next month in his federal trial.
“That’s part of the purpose: to dismantle the enterprise that caused so much suffering,” Carter told The Associated Press after the court hearing Thursday.
Carter represented Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondrisek, two men who grew up in the church. Each described a twisted world where trivial infractions caused beatings, punitive fasts and threats of damnation from Alamo. Ondrisek testified Thursday before Barnes. He’s previously described how Alamo once hit him three times himself, shouting: “You think I like doing this? I love doing this!”
Ondrisek has said Alamo also once shouted “Here’s Johnny!” when Kolbek arrived for a beating, mimicking Jack Nicholson’s line from the horror film “The Shining.”
Calagna did not attend the hearing, but offered a four-page statement describing how he still fears Alamo and Kolbek, the two men who he said “essentially robbed me of the first 18 years of my life.”
Note: The name of the alleged enforcer has various been reported at John Kolbeck and John Kolbek.
“The damage it has caused emotionally, physically, spiritually, is almost beyond my comprehension,” said U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes after listening to testimony from Spencer Ondrisek, a foster mother and Texarkana attorney David Carter.
“I don’t think there’s enough money in this world that will wash away the emotional harm this has caused.”
Kolbek beat Ondrisek and Calagna as children for minor horseplay at Alamo’s bidding. With his hands and a long, inches thick wooden paddle handcrafted for the purpose, the 6’4, 280 pound Kolbek struck the boys until they were bruised and bleeding.
That civil suit is set for July 2010.