10/17/08 – VIDEO UPDATE: Alamo Appears In Court

Today’s THV
October 17, 2008
By: Monika Rued

Update: Alamo Appears In Court

Evangelist Tony Alamo appeared in federal court Friday morning on an indictment that accused him of transporting minors across state lines for sex.

Alamo told the judge he understood the allegations against him, but could not read them. Alamo has said he is legally blind.

The 74-year-old evangelist made his first court appearance since his Sept. 25 arrest in Arizona, five days after his compound in west Arkansas was raided and six girls were taken into protective custody.

Alamo’s attorney John Hall says the arrest affidavit was full of detail that he didn’t believe the government would be able to prove.

A federal grand jury indicted Alamo, born Bernie Hoffman, on two counts of taking a minor girl across state lines for sex, a violation of the federal Mann Act. The two-page indictment alleges the incidents happened between September 2004 and December 2004, and between August 2005 and October 2005. Attorneys say the states involved are Arkansas and California.

If convicted, Alamo faces up to life in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant set a hearing for Wednesday on whether Alamo, who remains jailed, can be released before trial. Bryant also set a trial date for Nov. 19.

Alamo’s attorney says his client pleads not guilty to the charges, although he wasn’t asked in court to state his plea.

Prosecutors oppose Alamo’s request for release, calling him a flight risk.

In: 2008 - (Trial year), Video Clips

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