TEXARKANA, Ark. – Jurors began deliberating Thursday in the federal sex-crimes case against an evangelist accused of taking underage girls across state lines for sex.
The charges against 74-year-old Tony Alamo could land him in jail for the rest of his life if he's convicted.
The jury began deliberating early Thursday at Texarkana federal courthouse, a day after listening to prosecutors and defense attorneys offer their final portrayals of Alamo.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner described Alamo as a manipulator who dictated everything from what his followers believed to what they could eat. At one point, she turned to stare directly at him.
"Your crimes have been exposed in this courtroom," Jenner said. Alamo sneered and waved her away.
Alamo fell asleep several times during Jenner's closing argument. At one point, his mouth hung wide open as his head rolled back in his chair. A member of his legal team woke him by throwing a pen onto the defense table. When he was awake, Alamo muttered "bull----" at times during Jenner's remarks.
Defense lawyer Phillip Kuhn told jurors not to be swayed by testimony unrelated to the indictment — that Alamo may have had multiple wives, or that he may have set up businesses to evade taxes. He said prosecutors deliberately strayed from the specific charges against Alamo.
"Was it to give Tony a fair trial or was it to turn the jury into a moral mob?" Kuhn asked.
Alamo is accused of taking five young girls across state lines for sex between 1994 and 1995 after "marrying" them. Defense lawyers say prosecutors targeted him because the government is anti-Christian. Alamo has also said the Vatican is behind his troubles.
Defense attorneys largely stayed away from challenging the accusers' testimony about sex with the evangelist. Alamo's lawyers rested their case Wednesday after persuading the flamboyant minister not to testify. Though he had told reporters he would take the stand, Alamo said Wednesday afternoon he chose not to testify in an "unjust court."
Alamo is charged with violating the Mann Act, a nearly century-old morality law. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Tony Alamo, Yahoo News 41 Comments
[7/31/2009 3:34:02 PM]
Fundie Index: 32
Submitted By: Chi
Another persecuted martyr.
7/31/2009 3:46:16 PM
Wow, an evangelist, probably in favor of legislated morality, breaking morality laws.
I would be surprised, but such hypocrisy is only slightly above par for the course for these folks.
7/31/2009 3:49:42 PM
People like him make me sick. He should be put to death. And yes, I mean that literally. Sick child molester. He should die.....He claims persecution; BS.
7/31/2009 3:56:52 PM
I hope he rots.
7/31/2009 3:58:14 PM
"Defense lawyers say prosecutors targeted him because the government is anti-Christian."
Oh yeah Christians are a persecuted minority in ARKANSAS
7/31/2009 4:09:40 PM
I would just like to point out, at this juncture, that in New Mexico the Age of Consent for sex is 13, and throughout all of Canada it's 14.
Our modern sense of "horror" at the thought of 16-year-old girls having sex is a recent invention, and runs contrary to human biology.
7/31/2009 4:11:55 PM
"Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner described Alamo as a manipulator who dictated everything from what his followers believed to what they could eat."
And yet, nobody bats an eye when Orthodox Judaism does exactly the same thing....
7/31/2009 4:13:37 PM
@tracer: As I recall, the Criminal Code was recently changed to make the age of consent 16; however, 14- and 15-year-olds can consent to sex with someone up to five years older than them (there were concerns about criminalizing puppy love).
Alamo has also said the Vatican is behind his troubles.
What, he thinks they're after him because only they can rape children and get away with it?
7/31/2009 4:19:09 PM
"the government is anti-Christian"
When have xtians even been persecuted in the States?
7/31/2009 4:31:44 PM
The Skeptic Wept
I'll say one thing - if he's incarcerated in Arkansas he may wish he'd gotten the death penalty.
Bubba don't take too lightly to them child molesters.
7/31/2009 4:33:20 PM
I think that the lawyer is not aware of how law works. And how the Vatican works, for that matter.
7/31/2009 4:59:41 PM
Alamo is charged with violating the Mann Act, a nearly century-old morality law.
BWAHAHAHA! The irony! It burns!
Otherwise, though: "marrying" underage girls and crossing state lines for sex is okay morally!? Not cool, dude. NOT. COOL.
7/31/2009 5:01:00 PM
Damnit To Hell!! Our cursed archenemy Alamo has uncovered our complex, long-term conspiracy with the Pope and Barack Obama. I guess we will just have rely on the justice system to unfairly persecute him for TAKING UNDERAGE GIRLS ACROSS STATE LINES WITH THE INTENTION OF RAPING THEM.
7/31/2009 5:01:06 PM
the best defence he could pull was the religious prosecution card. despite the fact that odds are more than half the jury is christian.
that's pretty much another way of saying guilty.
7/31/2009 5:55:43 PM
Broke the law.
Raped young girls.
Took them across state lines.
And is now claiming "persecution" because he got caught.
Throw. Away. The. Key.
7/31/2009 6:57:55 PM
tracer: "Our modern sense of "horror" at the thought of 16-year-old girls having sex is a recent invention, and runs contrary to human biology."
You're not entirely wrong, but:
-As applies to this specific case, Alamo is accused of doing this with girls as young as nine.
-In general, "it's what human biology tells us to do" is both vastly oversimplified in factual/scientific terms, and really shaky grounds for moral argument. Lots of tendencies seem to be deeply embedded in the human psyche and behavior, that we don't want to be common or accepted in a decent, civilized society.
I'm not disagreeing that, on matters of adolescent sexuality, our society could do with a lot less hysteria and lot more clear, scientifically-based thinking. But I thought your statement could use some qualification.
7/31/2009 7:23:05 PM
Soon, this guy will have his insides torn asunder by Bubba while the guards look the other way. Then he'll be taken to whatever passes for medical attention in his prison and patched up just enough to keep him alive and able to suffer the next round, over and over until he finally succumbs to all the anal trauma.
Whether or not that's a fitting punishment for what he's done, I really can't say…
7/31/2009 8:00:08 PM
True, many countries and states have different "age of consent laws". However, in many cases, age is arbitrary -- to a point. As far as "consent" and "biology", there are many factors involved and these factors can vary from individual to individual. I will maintain though that a person (male or female) under 16 is not capable of fully understanding "consent". Just because "biologically" an organism is able, does not mean it should. Sounds to me like you are defending a sick fucking pedophile. Furthermore, that particular article did not mention exact ages. One poster here suggested some were as young as 9. I know of cases where some 9 year olds have had their first menarch. So does that mean it is ok for a 74 year old man to fuck them, because "biologically" they are good to go? HELL NO!! That is sick.
7/31/2009 8:33:11 PM
Not trying to defend this creep but he could claim there's a precedent.
Wasn't Mary aged twelve to fourteen and Joseph around ninety when they went to Bethlehem?
7/31/2009 10:28:40 PM
Sounds like a guy who doesn't believe anyone could ever convict him of anything. He's gonna be in for a rude awakening...people don't like statutory rapists.
7/31/2009 10:36:40 PM
I think he and Warren Jeffs deserve each other ...together, forever, in tank "D".
8/1/2009 12:03:49 AM
Prison time, tony. I heard big Bubba hates pedophiles...
8/1/2009 12:07:38 AM
Here's an Alamo I hope to forget.
8/1/2009 1:30:11 AM
This is justice, not persecution.
8/1/2009 1:34:39 AM
Persecuted for breaking the law. More like prosecuted to me.
8/1/2009 1:37:16 AM