Southwest Times Record
June 4, 1994
Alamo takes Fifth about his personal life
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Evangelist Tony Alamo repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment in response to government questions about his personal life.
Alamo was on the witness stand Thursday for the third day in his federal court trial on charges of falsifying his income tax return for 1985 and willfully failing to file for the years 1986, 1987 and 1988.
“You coerced several (women) into marrying you by saying you had a message from God that something very bad would happen if they didn’t marry you?” Justice Department lawyer Christopher Belcher asked.
Alamo responded by taking the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects citizens against self-incrimination by allowing them to refuse to testify against themselves.
He later did the same thing when asked whether he had threatened to throw the parents of one young woman out of the church unless they gave permission for their daughter to marry him.
He also invoked the Fifth Amendment when asked if he has had up to seven wives at a time in the last two years.
Alamo also denied child beating and arson accusations.
Alamo faces felony child abuse charges in California in the alleged beating of the son of a former member.
Belcher asked Alamo about a series of fires that occurred between 1990 and 1992 to Alamo buildings, specifically a fire at his home in Nashville, Tenn., in 1992.
“For sure, I don’t know anything about it,” Alamo replied.