8/25/09 – ADG: Alamo member, Jonathon Curry, gets 2 years for not registering as sex offender

Arkansas Democrat Gazette
August 25, 2009

Offender gets 2 years for not registering

Ex-Nevada inmate lived on Alamo church property, FBI says

A man who lived on property owned by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries was sentenced Monday in federal court to two years in prison for failing to register as a sex offender.

U.S. District Judge Robert Dawson also fined Jonathon Patrick Curry $1,000 and ordered him to pay a $100 special assessment.

Curry, 49, pleaded guilty in May to a one-count indictment charging him with failure to register after moving to Arkansas from Nevada, where he served nearly seven years in prison on a conviction of attempted lewdness with a child under 14. He was released in November 2007.

Curry’s attorney, federal public defender Bruce Eddy, asked Dawson during the hearing to sentence his client to 18 months in prison, which was the lower end of the range of the sentencing guidelines calculated for the case.

Two years was the maximum.

Eddy said Curry had not been involved in any criminal actions since leaving prison and that 18 months was the normal sentence given in the past two years in western Arkansas to people convicted of failing to register as a sex offender.

Curry, who appeared in court with a shaved head and full beard and wearing an orange Sebastian County jail uniform, accepted Dawson’s invitation to speak on his own behalf. He said he had tried to stay out of trouble, to live his life peacefully and to work hard to be a law-abiding citizen.

In asking for the maximum 24 months, assistant U.S. attorney Candace Taylor said Curry had only one requirement when he moved to Arkansas – to register – but he failed to do so.

An affidavit by an FBI agent submitted at the time of Curry’s arrest in January stated that Curry lived in a warehouse in Fort Smith, one of several businesses, homes and warehouses owned by the Alamo ministries.

The affidavit also said that there was no record of Curry registering as a sex offender in Arkansas.

A few days before Curry’s arrest, state and federal agents made a sweep of the Alamo properties in Fort Smith, taking children living there into custody because of allegations they had been subjected to physical and sexual abuse.

Officials have not commented on whether Curry had any contact with children while living in Fort Smith.

The head of Alamo ministries, Tony Alamo, was convicted in federal court in Texarkana in July on 10 counts of transporting underage children across state lines for sex.

The 74-year-old Alamo, who was tried under his original name – Bernie Lazar Hoffman – is in jail awaiting sentencing on the convictions and has petitioned for a new trial.

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.