Court upholds sex convictions of cult leader Tony Alamo

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — A federal appeals court upheld the criminal convictions of Tony Alamo on Thursday, finding that the 76-year-old evangelist took underage girls across state lines with the primary purpose of sexually exploiting them.

Jurors convicted Alamo last year on 10 counts of violating the Mann Act, a century-old law originally aimed at stopping women from being sold into prostitution.

Prosecutors said Alamo traveled the country with his young “wives,” including one who testified that she was 8 years old when she was forced to enter a spiritual marriage with the preacher.

A federal judge had handed down a 175-year prison sentence, which Alamo is serving in a prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

“The evidence here clearly demonstrated that in each instance (Alamo) directed the travel and transport of these girls across state lines for the purpose of engaging in proscribed sexual acts, thus supporting the jury’s conviction on each and every charge,” the appeals court’s opinion said.
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– Source / Full Story: Court upholds sex convictions of evangelist Alamo, Jill Zeman Bleed, Associated Press via the Washington Post, Dec. 2, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

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This post was last updated: Dec. 3, 2010