11/23/10 – TG: Alamo followers say drop lawsuit

Texarkana Gazette
November 23, 2010
By: Lynn LaRowe

Alamo followers say drop lawsuit
Plaintiffs are seeking damages for suffering

Defendants in a civil lawsuit filed by six former Tony Alamo Christian Ministries members have filed motions claiming the case should be dismissed.

The suit, filed Aug. 27 by Texarkana attorney David Carter, seeks damages from ministry-controlled businesses and individual members for the suffering of Desiree Kolbek, Amy Eddy, Jeanne Orlando, Jamie Rodriguez, Summer Hagan and Nicole Farr. All the women but Farr testified during Tony Alamo’s criminal trial they were forced to marry Alamo as children and were sexually abused. All, including Farr, testified they were beaten, forced to fast and psychologically abused.

Alamo was convicted in July 2009 of all 10 counts in a federal indictment accusing him of bringing girls he wed as minors across state lines for sex. He was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes to 175 years in federal prison. An appeal is pending in the federal 8th Circuit.

Little Rock attorney John Wesley Hall Jr. filed a motion to dismiss Monday on behalf of businesses Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, Gloryland Christian Church, Armful of Help, Tony and Susan Alamo Foundation, Music Square Church, SJ Distributing, Action Distributors, Advantage Food Group, Jeanne Estates Apartments and individuals Sally Demoulin and Sharon Alamo. Texarkana attorney David Crisp filed a motion to dismiss on behalf of Steve Johnson.

The motions argue the complaint makes “general” and “conclusory” allegations. The complaint alleges the corporations and individuals were negligent because they either knew or should have known Alamo was abusing the plaintiffs.

Hall argues the testimony of the plaintiffs during the criminal trial contradicts the allegations made in the civil complaint.

“The government’s theory throughout, aided by testimony … was that Alamo controlled everything,” Hall’s motion said. “How can he be in control and others supervise him? Moreover, Alamo supposedly created these corporate entities and then plaintiffs want to hold them responsible … This is literally a ‘chicken-egg’ argument that has to be explained for us to be able to answer.”

But Carter said he believes the allegations in the civil complaint are clear.

“The complaint is almost 50 pages long and more than adequately sets forth each of the claims,” Carter said. “We will be asking the court to deny the motions to dismiss and set the case for trial.”

The case is pending before U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas.

In: 2010

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