12/13/08 – Four more boys seized amid allegations of abuse and neglect

Texarkana Gazette
December 13, 2008
By: Lynn LaRowe

Officials: 4 more children found

Four more children of Tony Alamo followers were found Friday in Arkansas and placed in state care.

The brothers, the youngest of whom is 8, already have a sibling in foster care, said Arkansas Department of Human Services spokeswoman Julie Munsell.

The boys were found in a residence with their mother shortly before 6 p.m. DHS, accompanied by the Arkansas State Police, removed the kids “without incident,” she said.

“They all appeared to be in good general health,” she said.

Because the four boys are brothers of a child who already has a case in Miller County, a probable cause hearing that must be conducted within five days will occur before the same judge hearing their sibling’s case.

Previously, rulings in custody hearings conducted by Miller County Circuit Judges Jim Hudson and Joe Griffin left the children in foster care. Reunification with parents is possible if economic, residential and employment ties to Tony Alamo Christian Ministries are cut, according to court officials.

The children taken in November and early December are scheduled next year for final hearings in Miller and Sebastian counties, where the ministry owns property in Fort Smith. In November, removal orders containing the names of more than 125 children were signed by circuit judges in both counties.

With the children found Friday, 36 have been taken from Alamo ministry followers.

Six girls were removed on Alamo’s 74th birthday from his properties in Fouke on Sept. 20. Twenty others were taken Nov. 18. Six more were found in Indiana on Dec. 3.

All of the children were seized amid allegations of neglect and abuse.

Alamo faces a 10-count indictment alleging sexual misconduct with five young girls dating back to 1994. He is alleged in the federal criminal case to have violated a federal law that makes it a crime to bring a minor across state lines for sex.

He is also accused of ordering beatings and days-long fasts for the children who reside on ministry property.

The evangelist’s alleged polygamist lifestyle includes being married to girls as young as 8, court documents show.

Girls named in federal court documents allege having their nude photos taken by Alamo with a Polaroid camera and being made to watch pornographic videos to learn sexual techniques.

When officials with the Arkansas State Police and FBI raided the Fouke compound in September, October and November, pornography and a collection of Barbie dolls the evangelist allegedly kept in his bedroom weren’t found, documents show.

In: 2008 - (Trial year)

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