Los Angeles Times
June 10, 1994
Child Abuse Hearing for Evangelist Delayed Crime: A prosecutor says convicted tax evader Tony Alamo should be denied bail because he had married 15-year-old girls.
A Los Angeles hearing on child abuse charges was postponed Thursday for evangelist Tony Alamo, who remained in jail in Memphis, where a federal prosecutor accused him of marrying eight of his followers since 1993, including married women and 15-year-old girls.
Alamo, 59, was convicted by a Memphis federal court jury Wednesday on tax charges. The marriage accusations were made by federal prosecutor Christopher Belcher as an argument against allowing him to go free on bail.
Belcher said such offenses would fall under state laws against statutory rape in Tennessee and Arkansas, but state prosecutors have filed no such charges against Alamo.
Alamo’s defense attorney, Jeffrey Dickstein, who plans to appeal Wednesday’s conviction, argued that polygamy claims were no reason to deny Alamo bail while he awaits sentencing.
Following the jury’s verdict in Memphis on Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Jon McCalla jailed Alamo at the request of federal prosecutor Christopher Belcher, who said Alamo posed a threat to his followers and that he might flee before sentencing on Aug. 26.
Alamo’s conviction in the tax evasion case clears the way for him to return to Los Angeles to stand trial on charges that he ordered the beating of a young boy at his onetime Saugus commune. A hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court in that case was rescheduled for July 29.
At the IRS trial the evidence was SO overwhelming that even Tony didn’t deny the multiple wives on the stand. When Tony Alamo was asked about Lydia being his wife and Tabor was his son by Lydia, Tony Alamo took the 5th amendment! Lydia’s medical records regarding Tabor’s birth (Lydia was impregnated by Tony Alamo) were entered as evidence, as well.