9/23/08 – THV VIDEO Report: Father, Anthony, Hopes Alamo Raid Brings Children Home

Today’s THV
September 22, 2008
By: Charles Crowson

Father Hopes Alamo Raid Brings Children Home

Six children remain in temporary state custody following Saturday’s raid of the Tony Alamo Christian Church by state and federal agents.

No arrests have been made, but for Anthony Lane, he’s hoping these events will move him one step closer to being reunited with his three children, who he hasn’t seen in more than a decade.

“Oh, I jumped up. I never moved so fast,” Lane said. Lane says it was all he and his wife, Lynne, could do to maintain their composure as they learned of the raid at the Fouke compound.

“We grabbed the baby, ran out the door and didn’t have no bottles,” he said. “So we had to turn around and get ’em. We were just so excited.”

Excited because for the past 10 years, Lane says he’s been trying to reunite with his three children: Ashley (13), Sarah (11) and Timothy, a nine-year-old son he’s never seen.

Lane recalls the last time he saw Ashley. He says it was outside Alamo’s Fort Smith church.

“Two little girls came up to my truck to give me a tract,” he said. “I asked them their names, and when my daughter said, ‘Ashley,’ I said, ‘Ashley Marie?’ I said, “How are you, baby? I’m your daddy.’ And she turned around and ran back inside. She was frightened.”

Lane believes the children are still in one of Alamo’s churches with their mother, Leisa, a woman Lane lived with for nine years but to whom he was never legally married.

They joined the church in Oklahoma City in 1996. Lane says he was kicked out because he challenged Alamo’s doctrine.

“The teachings, attitudes, belittling people,” Lane said. “I saw the marriage of a 13-year-old girl to a 35, 40-year-old man.”

It’s a disturbing memory Lane keeps with him as he says Ashley, his oldest child, is the same age.

“It just makes me crazy to think that some old man may be molesting my children,” he said.

It’s a legitimate fear, given what Lane claims to have seen, and the fact that Tony Alamo confirmed his position on when women are eligible for marriage.

“Consent is puberty,” Alamo said. “That’s absolutely legal, the bible says.”

The mother of Anthony Lane’s children, Lesia Christopher, posted a response to his concerns about his daughter’s potential marital status on Tony Alamo’s Web site.

In it, she writes, “That’s not even on her mind or anyone else’s who’s serving the Lord. Tony Alamo will not even allow marriage like that. She is under age!”

Today, Lane can only look at photos an ex-Alamo member sent him. They’re photos of children he prays he will one day be able to see again.

“You know I’m very excited that they did raid the compound,” Lane said. “But it don’t mean I’m gonna get my kids back.”

Lane says he’s hired an attorney to seek legal action against Lesia. They are currently trying to track down her and the kids.

After Saturday’s raid, he gave all his children’s information to federal agents. It’s not known yet know if any of the children are among the six in custody.

As for him and his wife, Lynne, they now have a one-year-old daughter, Elizabeth.

In: 2008 - (Trial year), Video Clips

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