10/12/11 – TG: Justices won’t hear Alamo followers’ argument ***COMMENTS***

Texarkana Gazette
October 12, 2011
BY: Lynn LaRowe

Justices won’t hear loyalists’ argument
Alamo followers lost parental rights in 2010 when they refused to end dependence on ministry

The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear arguments from members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries whose parental rights were terminated when they refused to find housing and employment independent of the ministry.

The nation’s highest court Tuesday issued an order denying a petition for review of the case from the Alamo loyalists.

Three years ago last month,the FBI and Arkansas State Police raided the ministry’s Fouke, Ark., compound in search of evidence to support the claims of former members that Alamo was practicing polygamy and had married underage girls. Six girls were taken into state custody following the raid.

Alamo was arrested a few days later by federal authorities and charged with bringing young girls across state lines for sex.

Within two months of the raid, circuit judges in Miller and Sebastian counties, Ark., signed orders for the removal of all children living on ministry property in Fouke and Fort Smith.

Before the orders were executed, many of the parents fled with their children, and their whereabouts remain unknown. Three children were taken into custody as they appeared in court to testify in the custody cases of the six girls. Seventeen youngsters were taken by officials from sport utility vehicles that were stopped only minutes from the Texas state line.

Tony Alamo was convicted after a jury trial in July 2009 of all 10 counts listed in his federal indictment accusing him of bringing five women he’d wed as children across state lines for sex. He was sentenced to the maximum possible sentence—175 years—by a federal judge later that year.

In the months following removal of the children, the parents were ordered to find housing and employment separate from the ministry. Nearly all of them refused, and in 2010, parental rights were permanently severed.

Tuesday’s ruling likely means the parents have exhausted their appeals.

The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alamo’s bid for post conviction relief from his criminal sentence in June.

In: 2011

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  1. HeyNow Says:

    From what the article says, that’s it. All legal action has been exhausted. “Parental rights permanently severed” that sounds severe. I could be wrong but, it seems the parents have abandoned their children. Very sad.

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