7/17/09 – TG: More women testify at Alamo trial

Texarkana Gazette
July 17, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

More women testify at trial


A woman testified Thursday that she exchanged wedding vows with Tony Alamo in the visitation area of a federal prison in Texarkana, Texas, when she was just 14 years old. Jane Doe No. 3, now 25, told the jurors Alamo also fondled her breasts and spoke crudely of sex to her while he was being rehabilitated in the Federal Correctional Institution in 1998. He was incarcerated there after being convicted of tax evasion in 1994.

“My mom would say that if I was going to marry anybody it was going to be Tony Alamo,” Jane Doe No. 3 told jurors who are hearing Alamo’s case in federal court. He is accused in a 10-count indictment of taking underage girls across state lines for sexual purposes.

Jane Doe No. 3 said her mother, still an Alamo loyalist, doesn’t speak to her anymore.

Alamo was released from FCI to a half-way house in Texarkana early in July 1998. Jane Doe No. 3 said Alamo sent her to Moffet, Okla., shortly after he got out of prison. She testified he wanted her to call her father who had reportedly heard she was living in Alamo’s house and threatened to contact authorities. But Alamo didn’t want the call to come from Fouke, Ark., where he lived with as many as 10 wives, the woman testified.

Her parents had separated, Jane Doe No. 3 testified.

“Tony sent me there to call my father and calm him down,” she said. “I told him (her father) it wasn’t true.”

After calling her father and successfully assuring him, she returned to Fouke to continue living in Alamo’s house, she testified.

The federal indictment that led to Alamo’s ongoing trial in the federal building in downtown Texarkana accuses him of bringing Jane Doe No. 3 across state lines for sexual purposes in July 1998.

“He motioned for me to go in his bedroom,” Jane Doe No. 3 said of events that occurred upon her return from Oklahoma. “I was pushing him off and saying, ‘Stop, you’re hurting me …”

The alleged victim said she recalls the exact date—July 17, 1998—she and Alamo “consummated” their union because she wrote it down in her Bible.

Alamo’s attorneys, Don Ervin of Houston, Phillip Kuhn of Florida and Jeff Harrelson of Texarkana, do not appear to be focusing on a denial of Alamo’s alleged sexual misconduct. Instead, the defense lawyers have queried witnesses about the reasons the five alleged victims traveled.

Alamo is accused of violating a law that makes it a crime to bring minors across state lines for sex.

“All they’ve done is prove the purposes for the trips are not what the government says they are,” Ervin said.

The government, represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner, Candace Taylor and Clay Fowlkes, is prepared to deal with such a defense, spokesperson Chris Plumlee said earlier this week.

Two other Jane Does named in Alamo’s indictment also testified Thursday about their unorthodox lives as wives of Alamo and trips they took with him out of state. Only Jane Doe No. 1, allegedly married to Alamo at 11, has yet to take the stand.

An 18-year-old woman who said she married Alamo when she was only 8 years old was the last witness to testify Thursday. Today she will be cross-examined by Alamo’s defense.

“I asked him what made him want to marry me,” testified Jane Doe No. 2. “He said, ‘Because you were cute.’”

Jane Doe No. 2 said she was surprised at Alamo’s answer because her “pastor” had been called by God to marry the other “sisters in the house.”

“It wasn’t God’s will. It was just because I was cute,” she said.

Moments after Jane Doe No. 2 took the stand, U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes of the Western District of Arkansas called for a short break to allow her a moment to compose herself.

Jane Doe No. 2 told the jury she traveled a couple of times at Alamo’s bidding and that her “job” was to “be his wife and have sex with him.”

Alamo, who wore a dark suit and dark glasses to court, leaned back in his swivel chair and ran his hand across his graying goatee.

“He’s a lot skinnier now. He has white hair and he doesn’t have that toupee on,” testified Jane Doe No. 2 when asked to identify Alamo in the courtroom.

In a photo taken when Jane Doe No. 2 was about 11, she wore a Barbie T- shirt and Alamo wore a T-shirt bearing a Harley Davidson logo.

Jane Doe No. 2 testified she left the marriage with no money and only the clothes on her back in 2006, at age 15.

“I ran away. I had to dodge the cameras angling around buildings,” she said. “I was hiding around bushes, getting around guards.”

Jane Doe No. 5 testified that bars had been put on the windows of a house called the “green house” or “house of scorn” used as a women’s residence because Jane Doe No. 2 had once tried unsuccessfully to escape from it.

All of the women who’ve testified about being wives of Alamo came from families with long-standing ties to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

“I thought he was the prophet,” one of the women said when asked why she didn’t leave sooner.

The first woman to testify Thursday is not named in the indictment but said she was once married to Alamo. She testified that at 15, Alamo presided over her wedding ceremony to a 38-year-old man. A year later her husband was kicked out of the ministry and she was coerced into becoming an Alamo wife, the woman testified.

She has now reconciled with the man she originally married.

A three-car caravan with sirens and lights escorted Alamo back to his cell in a jail down the street after court adjourned Thursday. As he was being led into the courthouse early Thursday morning, Alamo told Today’s THV reporter Charles Crowson of Little Rock, “I’m going to win next week.”

Alamo could spend the rest of his life in a federal prison if he is convicted by the jury.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

| Back to Top |
Want to help?

Click the button!

Post A Comment

Please note: All comments are moderated. There is no need to resubmit your comment. Please submit a well thought out post with proper punctuation and spelling, so that it can be reviewed and posted promptly (as space allows).

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.