5/30/11 – AP: Civil trial to begin for Tony Alamo

The Washington Examiner
May 30, 2011
By: The Associated Press

Civil trial to begin for convicted evangelist

Evangelist Tony Alamo, who is serving a 175-year sentence in federal prison for taking young girls across state lines for sex, faces a civil trial starting Tuesday that he ordered the beating of two of his former ministry members.

In a federal lawsuit filed in 2008 by W. David Carter of Texarkana, Tex., the two young men — Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondirsek — allege that Alamo ordered another man, John Kolbek, to beat them.

Calagna and Ondirsek each were awarded $1.5 million from Kolbek after he failed to respond to their lawsuit. Kolbek died in January.

They’re now seeking damages in the case against Alamo, who is not likely to appear in court in Texarkana, Ark. because it would cost too much to bring him from federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind.

Alamo’s Little Rock attorney, John Wesley Hall Jr., declined to comment ahead of the trial.

The lawsuit claims that while Ondirsek lived on Alamo’s compound in southwest Arkansas, Alamo had Kolbek hit Ondirsek. Then, Alamo hit Ondirsek a few times himself, according to the lawsuit, screaming, “You think I like doing this? I love doing this!”

As Kolbek arrived for another beating, the suit claims Alamo shouted Jack Nicholson’s creepy line from the horror movie “The Shining”: “Here’s Johnny!”

The civil suit alleges that Alamo also ordered Kolbek to beat Calagna. During one beating, the suit alleges, Kolbek hit Calagna in the head until his face was bloody then spanked him with a wooden paddle until his backside was bruised.

In another episode, Kolbek paddled Calagna until the board broke, according to the lawsuit.

The suit seeks damages in excess of $75,000 because the young men “have sustained damages in the form of physical pain and suffering, emotional distress and scarring/disfigurement,” Carter wrote in the complaint.

In: 2011

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