10/22/09 – TG: Two former Alamo followers awarded $3 million in judgment for abuse

Texarkana Gazette
October 22, 2009
By: Lynn LaRowe

Two former Alamo followers awarded $3 million in judgement for abuse

A federal judge awarded a total of $3 million to two former Tony Alamo followers in a civil suit against fugitive John Kolbek following a hearing this morning.

“The damage it has caused emotionally, physically, spiritually, is almost beyond my comprehension,” said U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes after listening to testimony from Spencer Ondrisek, a foster mother and Texarkana attorney David Carter. “I don’t think there’s enough money in this world that will wash away the emotional harm this has caused.”

Ondrisek and Seth Calagna, both 19-year-old men who were raised in the Tony Alamo Ministries, each received $500,000 in actual damages and $1 million in punitive damages to be paid by Kolbek. The suit was filed on their behalves last year by Carter.

“They were beaten for being kids your honor,” Carter said during his closing remarks. “This court is in a unique position to send a message to Mr. Kolbek and anyone else who might do this in the name of the Lord.”

Kolbek beat Ondrisek and Calagna as children for minor horseplay at Alamo’s bidding. With his hands and a long, inches thick wooden paddle handcrafted for the purpose, the 6’4, 280 pound Kolbek struck the boys until they were bruised and bleeding.

Because Kolbek is a wanted man, his case was severed from Tony Alamo’s and the court proceeded with a default judgment against him.

A trial in Ondrisek’s and Calagna’s case against Alamo is scheduled for July 2010.

In: 2009 - (Trial year)

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