7/26/09 – TG: We haven’t heard the last of Convicted Child Sex Offender Tony Alamo

Texarkana Gazette
July 26, 2009
By: Elthel Channon

We haven’t heard the last of Alamo

It is ever so tempting to believe we have heard the last of Tony Alamo—or nearly the last.

We have not, and I’m not referring to the sentencing the evangelist will face in a few weeks. It will be a media event.

Alamo may be taken off to a federal lockup, but he won’t be off the radar. Not for a long time.

In this sense, he has made just the kind of impact a cult leader fancies. He will be burned into the public consciousness for quite a long time.

Among things left unresolved with Alamo’s conviction Friday on 10 counts of violating the Mann Act—which makes it a crime to take someone across state lines for immoral purposes—is what will happen to his victims, especially those who are underage or were underage when Alamo “took them as wives.”

Alamo, at 74, likely is looking at a life sentence, given the penalty range on his convictions. The odds favor his dying in prison.

But others are facing a life sentence too. The girls Alamo abused will live out their lives with his crimes at least in the recesses of their minds. They may undergo counseling about what was done to them. No amount of counseling will erase entirely the memories of what was done to them in the name of religion.

Others, including young and adult males, also will be haunted by the beatings they took, as well as the emotional and verbal emasculation they endured while living in the Alamo Christian Ministries compounds.

And what about those who continue to follow, or perhaps I should say be misled, by Alamo.

They may not remain on ministries properties here or elsewhere in the United States. But we would be naive to believe that no one will try to follow their leader near where he will be doing his time. Alamo himself concedes he can lead from jail.

Also, quite a few children remain in state custody pending resolution of abuse and neglect cases filed against their parents associated with those living in the compounds. These cases will be in the courts for awhile.

So, no, Alamo’s name will not disappear from the headlines just yet—and maybe not for years to come.

In: 2009 - (Trial year), Editorials

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