LITTLE ROCK â€” State human services officials were justified in removing children living at the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries last year for their own protection, the state Court of Appeals ruled today.
In three separate opinions, the court concluded there was enough evidence to support the state Department of Human Servicesâ€™ decision to remove the children following a September 2008 raid on the Alamo compound in Fouke.
Among other things, the rulings said the children faced danger of beatings and forced fasts ordered by the 75-year-old evangelist convicted earlier this year of transporting underage girls across state lines for sex and sentenced this month to 175 years in prison.
Since the raid by state police and the FBI, DHS has seized about three dozen children. Three men with children taken by the state appealed rulings by Miller County Circuit judges Joe E. Griffin and James Scott Hudson Jr. that allowed the children to remain in protective custody.
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.â€
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