5 Jun 2011

Two men ordered beaten by Tony Alamo enforcer awarded millions by jury, 5 women raped by Alamo received far less

Forbes   -  Associated Press           June 3, 2011

2 ex-ministry members get $33 million each in suit


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A jury awarded two former members of imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo's ministry $33 million each on Thursday in response to charges that Alamo ordered them to be beaten.

But Seth Calagna, 21, and Spencer Ondirsek, 20, likely will not see payouts from the judgment anytime soon, said Alamo's attorney John Wesley Hall Jr.

"Tony Alamo Christian Ministries doesn't have that kind of money," he said. "Never has. Never will."

The jury in Texarkana, Ark., deliberated for about two hours before they returned with a verdict in the civil suit, which alleges that Alamo ordered another man, John Kolbek, to beat the young men while they were raised on the ministry's compound in southwest Arkansas.

The jury found Alamo liable for battery, outrage and conspiracy and awarded Calagna and Ondirsek $30 million each in punitive damages, plus another $3 million each to compensate them for past injuries and mental anguish. In comparison, a federal judge ruled last year that five young women whom Alamo sexually assaulted and took as "wives" were entitled to $500,000 each.

Calagna and Ondirsek were previously awarded $1.5 million each from Kolbek after he failed to respond to their lawsuit. They haven't collected any of that money yet, their attorney, W. David Carter of Texarkana, Texas, said. Kolbek died in January.

But Carter said he plans to search for properties on which he can collect the awards from both Kolbek and Alamo.

"We're going to look far and wide to see what properties might be available to pay the judgment," Carter said. "Whatever we find we will execute on."

Alamo's attorney called the sums awarded "outlandish" and said he plans to ask a federal judge to reduce the amounts. He also likely will appeal the verdict.

"It's a long way from being over," Hall said.

Hall had argued that the Bible condones corporal punishment. He wanted to tell jurors about Arkansas law regarding corporal punishment that was on the books when the alleged beatings occurred. But U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry A. Bryant disagreed and didn't include Hall's instructions, part of which were to read: "The fact there was bruising does not make corporal punishment unreasonable. If you find that corporal punishment was reasonably applied and was not excessive, then your verdict should be for Tony Alamo and against Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna."

Hall also said that Thursday's verdict means he'll likely have to file for a change of venue in other cases involving Alamo's ministry.

"It's apparent that Tony Alamo can't get a fair trial in that community," Hall said.

Alamo, whose real name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, is serving a 175-year term in federal prison in Terre Haute, Ind. He did not appear in federal court for the civil trial because it was too expensive to transport him to Texarkana.

His wife, Sharon, and Calagna's mother, Barbara Calagna, were among several witnesses to testify on his behalf.

Calagna's mother, Barbara Calagna, said the spankings were the best thing to ever happen to her son.

Calagna's attorney disagreed.

"Seth's mother's testimony is a prime example of how blindly people will follow Tony Alamo when they believe he's a prophet of God," Carter said. "She turned her back on her own son and allowed him to be beaten savagely on numerous occasions."

Beyond compensating the two young men, Carter said the suit was designed to prevent other people from following in Alamo's footsteps.

"It's intended to send a message not only to Alamo but to anyone else who might manipulate scripture in an attempt to control others for their own advantage," Carter said.

This article was found at:


FBI fugitive who savagely beat children and adults in Tony Alamo cult dies hiding on farm in Kentucky

Violent Tony Alamo enforcer and fugitive, John Kolbek, to be featured on America's Most Wanted

Arkansas Supreme Court upholds lower court ruling that removed parental rights from Tony Alamo cult members

Court terminates parental rights of Alamo cult members to protect the rights of their children, 90 children still being hidden

Arkansas court asked to terminate rights of parents in cult, hears prison recordings of Tony Alamo directing followers

Alamo followers refuse to say where children are

Follower of Tony Alamo jailed for hiding children

Children in Alamo case still sought

Tony Alamo appeal of child sex abuse convictions set to start, parents still hiding 90 children from authorities

Cult evangelist Tony Alamo's convictions for child sex crimes upheld by federal appeals court

2 moms in Alamo case fear for kids

Woman 'married' to cult leader Tony Alamo when she was 12 joins civil lawsuit against Alamo Ministries

Lawsuit by survivors targets businesses owned by Tony Alamo cult members who ignored systemic child abuse

Cult leader Tony Alamo wants new trial, claims sex with child 'brides' was not main reason for trip across state lines

40 years of fraud and abuse by evangelist, Tony Alamo, ended by sex abuse testimonies

Court terminates parental rights of Alamo cult members to protect the rights of their children, 90 children still being hidden

Arkansas court asked to terminate rights of parents in cult, hears prison recordings of Tony Alamo directing followers

Alamo followers refuse to say where children are

Follower of Tony Alamo jailed for hiding children

Children in Alamo case still sought

Judge awards $500,000 each to 5 women sexually abused as minors by jailed evangelist Tony Alamo

The Ravening Wolf: The cult of Tony Alamo

The Barely Legal Empire of Tony Alamo

Controversy Continues To Follow Tony Alamo

Lawyer in Alamo case: Bible no defense for abuse

Cult parents felt they had to sacrifice their daughters to appease Alamo

Timeline of events from Tony Alamo’s arrest to the current trial

Alamo case major test for state DHS

Judge upholds taking of Alamo church kids

Former Follower: Pastor Tony Alamo A 'Monster'

Survivor of abuse in Tony Alamo cult tells her story

For Tony Alamo survivors, religious abuse scars the soul

Amazing survival story of woman who escaped Tony Alamo cult as a teen


  1. Cult Leader Alamo Still Ministering from Prison

    BY HALLIE COOK, COC COUGAR NEWS December 12, 2011

    Commuters pass it every day on their way to work. Neighbors have reported odd sightings and have been threatened for getting too close. Vans come and go two or three times a day. There is 24-hour security and large white fences that block the view of the housing complex near the highway.

    Up Sierra Highway past Davenport Road in Agua Dulce sits the storied Tony Alamo Christian Church.

    The church was deemed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because of its anti-Catholic teachings.

    Rumors of brainwashing and polygamy have surrounded the ministry since its establishment in the 1960s. Its founder, 77-year-old Tony Alamo, was sentenced Nov. 13, 2009, to 175 years in prison for trafficking underage girls across state lines for sex.

    A call to the church hotline reveals: “Pastor Alamo is currently serving the ministries from prison, writing scripture and sending it here to us, along with providing salvation for the terrorists and murderers in prison with him.”
    Public records list Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Inc. as the owner of the property where the church complex is located. The company also owns a parcel of land and some houses behind the Halfway House Café, farther down Sierra Highway.

    The company was founded and run by Tony Alamo, and it is the name most of his properties are under today.

    Public records also show the property is managed by Rodi Pollock Pettker Galbraith, a Los Angeles law firm. Company officials refused to comment about their involvement with Tony Alamo and his businesses.

    Locals describe it as a suspicious place. No one knows what is going on behind closed doors, except for the religious followers.

    Neighbors report that vans pass by the Halfway House at least once a day at around the same time, but the property looks to be vacant with the exception of a standard-looking white Ford van and an old station wagon. Blinds in all of the houses are drawn, and there is no movement or noise.

    Waitress Sally Moore reports witnessing strange things since she started working at the Halfway House.

    “My son used to play with some of the kids who lived back there,” said Moore, 50. “All of them were home-schooled and I never saw any girls, only teenage boys.”

    Although her son never reported any strange occurrences, Moore never let him enter any of the Alamo homes.

    “About a year ago a young girl ‘escaped’ with a man,” she said. “They sat in the corner of the café for about an hour to wait for a taxi. Another middle-aged man showed up and tried to convince the girl to come back to say goodbye to the rest of the people at the complex. In the middle of a heavy rainstorm, the two people went outside to wait for the cab, arguing with the middle-aged man until they finally left.”
    Twenty-four hour security keeps watch over people entering or exiting church property.
    Lauren Weightman, 21, of Agua Dulce, was riding a quad one day on the mountains behind her house, which sits near the back of the church property. She ran out of gas and continued to walk down the mountain to meet someone who had brought her gas for the quad.

    “A man popped out of the bushes,” she said. “I didn’t hear him coming, so it scared me. He told me to get off the church’s property because I was trespassing. I thought it was weird he was out in the middle of nowhere.”

    Neighbors report séances held at the late hours of the night. ...
    Victims have come forward to appear on the Oprah Winfrey show to share their stories of Alamo and the hellish environment he created.

    Victims told Winfrey they were made to be Alamo’s “spiritual wives” at the tender ages of 8 to 12. They said they were sexually assaulted, drugged and beaten by Alamo until they escaped.

    Alamo’s lawyers have indicated they plan to appeal his verdict and to prove his innocence.

    read the full article at:


  2. Appeals Court Upholds Dismissal Of Alamo Ministry’s Civil Suit

    By John Lyon Booneville Democrat January 12, 2012

    A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld a judge’s order dismissing a lawsuit filed by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries over the removal of children from its compound in 2008.

    The 8th U.S. Court of Appeals in St. Louis said U.S. District Judge Harry Barnes was right to dismiss the suit, which alleged violations of the ministry’s constitutional rights, because the suit would have interfered with state proceedings that at the time were still ongoing.

    At least 36 children were removed from the ministry’s compound in Fouke and placed in foster care. Officials with the state Department of Human Services said the children were the victims of physical and sexual abuse, including forced marriages between underage children and adults.

    Alamo was sentenced in November 2009 to 175 years in prison on charges that included taking minors across state lines for sex.

    The ministry and two church members, Albert Ralph Krantz and Gregory Scott Seago, filed a lawsuit alleging that DHS officials violated their constitutional rights, including their First Amendment right to freedom of religious expression and their Fourth Amendment right to freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.

    Barnes dismissed the suit in February 2010. The ministry, but not the individual plaintiffs, filed an appeal, and on Wednesday a three-judge panel of the 8th Circuit said it agreed with Barnes’ ruling.

    The appeals court said the U.S. Supreme Court has established, in its 1971 ruling in Younger v. Harris, that federal courts must abstain from considering any civil claims brought by plaintiffs who are being prosecuted at the state level for matters related to their claims.

    Barnes had cited Younger v. Harris only in regard to the individual plaintiffs and had dismissed the ministry’s claims because he said the ministry lacked standing. The ministry argued on appeal that it did have standing, but the 8th Circuit said Wednesday that the abstention rule set forth in Younger v. Harris was equally applicable to the ministry, so the issue of standing was irrelevant.

    “Abstention applies to TACM because it alleges standing based on injuries that are either directly or indirectly derivative of those of the individual plaintiffs,” Judge Susan Nelson, a U.S. district judge from Minnesota specially appointed to hear the case along with two 8th Circuit judges, wrote in the opinion.

    The appeals court also said the constitutional arguments in the federal lawsuit have been raised by members of the ministry in state court proceedings, including by Krantz and Seago, and state courts have rejected those arguments.

    In April 2011, the state Supreme Court affirmed several circuit court decisions terminating various church members’ parental rights, including those of Krantz and Seago. The appeals court acknowledged Wednesday that the state proceedings apparently were concluded at that point, but it said they were still ongoing when Barnes dismissed the federal lawsuit in 2010, so the judge ruled appropriately.

    The appeals court also rejected the ministry’s argument that the state seized the children as an act of harassment and intimidation. Given that the state Supreme Court upheld the children’s removal and the termination of church members’ parental rights, the argument was not plausible, the 8th Circuit said.

    Joining Nelson in the opinion were 8th Circuit Judges James Loken and Steven Colloton.


  3. Lawsuit berates Alamo brides

    By Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, June 3, 2012

    Plaintiffs: Women participated willingly in polygamy, child porn production

    Defendants in a civil lawsuit seeking damages for former child brides of imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo accuse the women of willingly practicing polygamy and participating in the production of child pornography.

    “I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Texarkana lawyer David Carter, who filed the suit in 2010. “These particular defendants are actually contending that Alamo’s ‘brides,’ who became his sexual slaves when they were as young as eight years old, knowingly and willing engaged in polygamy. Even worse, they claim that the girls wrongfully engaged in creating child pornography because they were undressed and photographed by their pastor, who has since been convicted of being their molester. These counterclaims are insulting, and fly in the face of laws designed to protect children from abusive situations.”

    Six former Alamo wives and a former member who alleges that she was being groomed to be a wife when she escaped from the Tony Alamo Ministries compound in Fouke, Ark., are suing, with Carter’s help, several high-ranking ministry members, ministry-run businesses and a security firm that once provided guards to patrol the perimeter of the Fouke compound.

    Some of the defendants filed counterclaims alleging that the plaintiffs’ parents and Tony Alamo should be at least partly liable if the case is decided in favor of the plaintiffs.

    In recent court filings, Texarkana lawyer Bob Veon, who represents Robert Gilmore, owner of RG & Associates Security, names the six plaintiffs as counter-defendants who should be held partially accountable for their suffering.

    Alamo was convicted in 2009 of bringing five of the plaintiffs across state lines for sex and sentenced to 175 years in federal prison. He is serving his sentence at a federal lockup in Illinois.

    At trial, witnesses testified that Alamo had sex with “spiritual wives,” some of whom he married as children. The wives and other members were beaten, forced to fast, denied education and threatened with eternal damnation, witnesses testified.

    In the security firm’s response to the plaintiffs’ fifth amended complaint, Veon denies that the company’s guards kept members from leaving Alamo’s Fouke compound. Veon also denies that a guard reported to Robert Gilmore, owner of the firm, that he’d witnessed an underage girl performing a sexual act on a male adult.

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  4. continued from previous comment:

    Veon’s response on behalf of Gilmore also denies that Gilmore published any untrue statements about the plaintiffs.

    “Even after federal and state law enforcement officers had raided ‘Tony’s House’ on suspicion of child abuse and child pornography, Robert Gilmore penned letters of support for TACM disclaiming any abuse of underage girls at the compound. He and (Robert Gilmore’s security service) never reported any abuse or suspicion of abuse to authorities and remain supporters of defendants,” the complaint alleges. “By authoring such letters, (Robert Gilmore’s security service) and Gilmore have portrayed plaintiffs in a false light and have engaged in libelous statements, which have damaged plaintiffs.”

    In Gilmore’s counterclaims recently penned by Veon, Gilmore alleges that the plaintiffs willingly participated in a polygamous relationship, “which included persons who had not consented to the relationship”; and that the plaintiffs created child pornography, falsely imprisoned each other, restrained and/or hit one another with paddles and boards and failed to protect others from the conduct of which they themselves complain.

    Veon did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

    Veon filed the response on Gilmore’s behalf in April. Advantage Food Group, one of the church business defendants, filed a response penned by Texarkana lawyer Gary Nutter, which makes the same claims against the plaintiffs as Veon’s response for Gilmore. Nutter was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment. The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in the Western District of Arkansas, Texarkana division. Jury selection is scheduled for April 2013.


  5. Court Reduces Punitive Damages in Tony Alamo Case

    By JEANNIE NUSS, Associated Press August 28, 2012

    LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- A federal appeals court on Tuesday ordered punitive damages against an evangelist who ordered two boys to be beaten to be reduced from $60 million to $24 million.

    The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an additional $3 million award each for the two men, now in their 20s, who grew up in Tony Alamo's ministries.

    The court's decision comes after a jury last year found Alamo liable for battery, outrage and conspiracy and awarded the two men $30 million each in punitive damages, plus another $3 million each for the abuse they suffered.

    The appeals court said Tuesday that the men should get $12 million each instead of $30 million each in punitive damages.

    "Despite the exceptionally reprehensible nature of Alamo's conduct, it would be unconstitutional to let the punitive damages - and their 10:1 ratio to compensatory damages - stand," Judge Duane Benton wrote in an opinion for a three-judge panel.

    Alamo, who was born Bernie Lazar Hoffman, is serving a 175-year prison term after being convicted in 2009 of taking girls across state lines for sex. He has asked the court to vacate that sentence, too.

    The federal appeals court shot down Alamo's other arguments, including one that he wasn't liable because he was exercising his First Amendment rights to freedom of religion.

    The court said the two young men who sued Alamo were raised in Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and were forced to work without pay starting at the age of 8. Alamo had an enforcer beat one of the boys when he was 12 because he made a small tunnel while hauling dirt for the church. The court said the other boy was hit so hard he vomited.

    "They still have trouble sleeping, experiencing nightmares and flashbacks," Benton wrote in the court's opinion.

    Alamo's attorney John Wesley Hall Jr. said his client doesn't have the money to pay for the damages.

    David Carter, who represents the two men who sued Alamo, said Alamo took property out of his name after he was convicted of tax evasion.

    "The church and to some extent Alamo himself realistically are the owners of a lot of the property, but it's going to take some entangling to get the courts to decide ultimately who owns what," Carter said.

    Carter also said they were pleased that the court upheld the jury's findings about Alamo's liability.


  6. Ex-members aim to seize ministry buildings

    By Andy Davis Arkansa Online February 6, 2013

    Attorneys for two former members of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries have asked a judge to order the seizure and auction of six ministry buildings in Fort Smith to satisfy a $30 million judgment against the ministry’s leader.

    In a court filing Monday evening, attorneys for Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant to order the seizure and auction of a ministry church and gym building on Windsor Drive, a warehouse on South Fourth Street, a house and a former restaurant building on 16th Street and a parking lot on 17th Street.

    The deeds to the properties list church members as the owners, but the filing calls that a “scam” to protect ministry leader Tony Alamo from creditors.

    “Certain individuals have admitted that while they’re on the deed, they’re holding title for the benefit of Tony Alamo,” W. David Carter, an attorney for Ondrisek and Calagna, said Tuesday.

    The court filing cites Arkansas Code Annotated 16-66-201, which lists real estate held by another person for a defendant’s use as among the types of property that can be seized to satisfy a judgment against the defendant.

    If Bryant grants the request, Carter said the Fort Smith property would be seized by the U.S. Marshals Service and sold at a public auction.

    The sale likely wouldn’t be enough to satisfy the judgment, but Carter said he and the other attorneys also plan to target other properties.

    “We’ll keep looking at properties in Arkansas and other states and not stop until it’s satisfied,” Carter said.

    Attorneys for Alamo didn’t return calls seeking comment Tuesday.

    In their lawsuit, Ondrisek and Calagna said Alamo ordered the church’s “enforcer,” John Kolbeck, to beat them with a wooden board on multiple occasions while they were children and members of the ministry. Kolbeck died of heart failure in January 2011.

    The two former members also said Alamo berated them, ordered them to fast and forced them to listen to cassette tapes of his “rebukes” of other ministry members.

    A jury in June 2011 awarded Calagna and Ondrisek $3 million each in damages for pain, suffering and mental anguish and $30 million each in punitive damages.

    A federal appeals court last year reduced the punitive damages to $12 million for reach plaintiff.

    Alamo, 78, was convicted in 2009 of taking five underage girls across state lines for sex in violation of the federal Mann Act and was sentenced to 175 years in prison.


  7. Property is ministrys not Alamos, can’t be sold, lawyer says

    By Andy Davis Arkansas Democrat Gazette, April 3, 2013

    Five buildings and a parking lot in Fort Smith should not be auctioned to satisfy a $30 million judgment against evangelist Tony Alamo because the property belongs to Alamo’s ministry, not him, an attorney for the preacher told a judge Tuesday.

    At a hearing in U.S. District Court in Texarkana, attorneys for the two former ministry members who won the judgment responded that the ministry can’t be the owner because it is not a legal entity.

    “That’s just a new angle” to avoid paying his creditors, attorney Neil Smith, representing former ministry members Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondrisek, told U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant at the hearing.

    Calagna and Ondrisek won the judgment against Alamo for their claims in a lawsuit that Alamo ordered them to be beaten and forced to fast while they were children and members of the ministry, which has branches in Fouke and Fort Smith in Arkansas, and in California.

    In a court filing in February, they asked Bryant to issue a “writ of execution” allowing for the seizure and auction of the Fort Smith property to satisfy the judgment.

    Bryant did not issue a ruling on the request Tuesday. Instead, he asked attorneys for Alamo and the former members to submit written arguments on whether the ministry could be considered to be the property’s owner.

    The property at issue includes a church, a gym building, a warehouse, a restaurant, a house and a parking lot.

    Alamo, now an inmate in federal prison, did not attend the hearing, but Smith played a video presentation, titled “The Quitclaim Scheme,” in which the evangelist testified in a deposition that ministry property is listed in the names of multiple church members who have been with the ministry for at least 20 years.

    Each member signs a quitclaim deed that could be used to relinquish his ownership, Alamo explained in the deposition.

    The date and space for a notary signature on the quitclaim deed is left blank. As long as the member remains in good standing, the deed is not filed, Alamo testified.

    “If they act up or they become, like, anti-Christ, which means they don’t want to serve the Lord anymore, then, boom, the title is in someone else’s name,” Alamo said in the deposition.

    Alamo also testified that the members did not hire him to be the church’s leader and cannot fire him.

    “Nobody hired me,” Alamo testified. “God did.”

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  8. Steve Johnson, a former ministry member, is listed on deeds as one owner. His attorney, David Crisp, said Johnson would not object to relinquishing any claim to the property’s ownership, but he noted that some of the buildings have mortgages, and Johnson would want to be assured that he would not have any responsibility for paying them.

    Smith said Calagna and Ondrisek want Bryant to order the transfer of Johnson’s ownership interest, but not the ownership interest of the current church members who are also listed as owners.

    Alamo’s attorney, John Rogers of Clayton, Mo., agreed that Johnson and the church members listed on deeds are not the true property owners. He contended that the property is owned collectively by all of the ministry’s members, some of whom continue to use the property.

    As one member, Rogers acknowledged that Alamo has a “nebulous” ownership interest in the property. He said he would need to consult with Alamo about whether Alamo would contest having that interest auctioned to satisfy the judgment.

    W. David Carter, another attorney for Calagna and Ondrisek, said that once a writ is issued, the U.S. Marshals Service would issue a public notice allowing anyone with a claim to the property to step forward.

    He said it wouldn’t be practical to notify each church member, noting that the ministry claims on its website to have “200 million” followers, many of whom, it says, are in Africa.

    Alamo, 78, was convicted in 2009 of taking five underage girls across state lines for sex in violation of the federal Mann Act and was sentenced to 175 years in prison.

    The accusers in the criminal case, along with other former members, have filed a lawsuit against Alamo and several church members that is set for trial in January 2014.


  9. Judge: Six Alamo properties can be sold to help satisfy judgment

    By: Lynn LaRowe – Texarkana Gazette April 16, 2013

    A federal judge ruled Monday six properties associated with imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo can be sold to partially satisfy a $30 million judgment owed to two former members of Alamo’s controversial ministry.

    U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant found the real estate sought has been under the complete control of Tony Alamo.

    “He chose the name Tony Alamo Christian Ministries and made the decision to change the name of the church on Windsor Drive from Gloryland Christian Church to TACM. … He made decisions regarding the operations of the church without any input from other members,” Bryant’s order states. “He also made the decisions to actually purchase property.”

    A jury found Alamo guilty of battery, conspiracy and outrage at the end of a jury trial in a lawsuit filed by Texarkana lawyer David Carter on behalf of Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna. Alamo owes each man $15 million in compensatory and punitive damages for the abuses they suffered as children raised in Alamo Ministries.

    Alamo is serving a 175-year federal sentence assessed him by a jury in a 2009 criminal trial for bringing women he wed as children across state lines for sex.

    Carter and Irving, Texas, lawyer Neil Smith argued earlier at a hearing this month that the properties they seek to sell were held in the names of Alamo loyalists, including Steve Johnson, as part of a scheme to avoid such judgments by Alamo. Johnson is listed as an owner on all six of the properties Carter and Neil seek to liquidate as partial recompense for Alamo’s debt to Ondrisek and Calagna.

    Typically, the names of one or two followers are placed on a deed. At the same time, the members listed sign blank quitclaim deeds kept in the Alamo Ministries office.

    If a property-owning member falls from Alamo’s grace, the quit-claim deed is backdated and filed, transfering ownership to a member in good standing.

    “The complex and fraudulent scheme designed to insulate Alamo from judgments is unraveling,” Carter said. “We know who participated in the scheme and will continue make sure it is completely exposed.”

    In excerpts from depositions of Johnson discussed at a hearing April 2, Johnson claims no ownership of the properties and claims they belong either to Alamo or Alamo Ministries.

    Alamo’s lawyer, John Rogers of Clayton, Mo., argued at the hearing the properties actually belong to the ministry, not Johnson or Alamo.

    “Plaintiffs argue Tony Alamo Christian Ministries is merely a fiction,” Bryant’s order states. “Defendant (Tony Alamo) argues this property is being held for TACM or the individual members of TACM.”

    Bryant’s order points out an unincorporated entity, such as Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, cannot own property under Arkansas law.

    Bryant’s order directs Carter and Smith to coordinate with the U.S. Marshals Office and file a proposed order for the sale of the properties within 10 days.

    “We will move swiftly to coordinate with the U.S. Marshals Office to have the properties sold,” Carter said.

    The six Fort Smith, Ark., properties sought in the writ include the church building, a gym building, a warehouse, a restaurant parking lot, a restaurant and a residential house. Smith and Carter are only seeking to take Johnson’s interest in the properties at this point in the litigation.



  10. Judge dismisses lawsuit by Alamo former wives

    By Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, January 3, 2014

    A federal civil lawsuit filed in 2010 on behalf of former wives of imprisoned evangelist and polygamist Tony Alamo has been dismissed.

    U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey inked an order Thursday stating that the allegations of violations of federal law cannot continue.

    However, Hickey declined to rule on issues in the case, which allege violations of state law.

    That means the plaintiffs, six former wives of Alamo and another woman who alleges she escaped Alamo Ministries in Fouke, Ark., as a teen being groomed to be an Alamo wife, can refile the suit in state court.

    Hickey’s order dismissing the federal claims against Tony Alamo, his public wife Sharon Alamo, Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church Inc. and Jeanne Estates Apartments Inc. pointed to a number of legal issues in the federal claims, which she stated shouldn’t be brought before a jury.

    But Hickey’s order states the plaintiffs’ claims of civil violations under state law should be handled by a state court.

    “The core of plaintiffs’ claims, both state and federal, are the acts of sexual and physical abuse … perpetrated by Tony Alamo and allegedly facilitated by the other defendants in this suit,” Hickey’s order states. “None of the parties have disputed that the state claims are related enough to the federal claims for this court to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over them… In the 8th Circuit, the preference is for a court to decline to exercise supplemental jurisdiction when all federal claims have been eliminated before trial.”

    Those issues include: negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, mandatory reporter liability, defamation, negligence, outrage, battery, false imprisonment and invasion of privacy.

    The women’s lawyers, David Carter of Texarkana and Neil Smith of Irving, Texas, may have the option of filing a new suit on their clients’ behalves in an Arkansas state court or one in California.

    During Alamo’s 2009 federal criminal trial, witnesses testified the women were sexually, physically and emotionally abused from childhood on Alamo compounds in Fouke, Ark.; Fort Smith, Ark.; Saugus, Calif.; on properties in Oklahoma; and on multi-state trips.

    Some of the defendants initially listed in the suit, including a security company and insurance companies, which covered Alamo real estate, have settled out of court with the women privately. The terms of those settlements are undisclosed.

    “In this action’s original configuration, there were seven plaintiffs, 25 defendants, and 15 third-party defendants. There was also a very large number of counter-claims and cross-claims,” Hickey’s order states.

    Alamo, 79, whose given name is Bernie Lazar Hoffman, is currently serving a 175-year term in federal prison for bringing five women he wed as children across state lines for sex. The victims in Alamo’s criminal case are among the plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit dismissed Thursday by Hickey.


  11. Alamo follower gets life for sexual misconduct with three young girls

    By Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, January 13, 2014

    A Tony Alamo Christian Ministries member received life in prison Thursday for sexual misconduct with three young girls whose mother was a ministry member as well.

    Douglas Christopher, 59, pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Fort Smith, Ark., in August 2013 to transporting a minor across state lines for sex. Thursday, U.S. District Judge P.K. Holmes sentenced Christopher to life in federal prison for his misdeeds with three sisters.

    Christopher was married to the girls’ mother while the two lived on Alamo Ministries properties. Christopher, the girls and their mother previously lived at an Alamo compound in Muldrow, Okla. In 2008, a law-enforcement raid of Alamo’s compound in Fouke, Ark., caused Alamo satellite compound residents to go into hiding.

    Christopher and other followers moved to Valparaiso, Ind.

    While living in Oklahoma, Christopher was assigned to stand watch at properties under the organization’s control.

    One location, on Division Street in Fort Smith, Ark., was known as the “mechanic’s shop.”

    About June 2003, Christopher began taking a minor, whose mother he had married in 2000, from the family’s home in Oklahoma to the mechanic’s shop for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse.

    In August 2008, when the minor was 13 years old, Christopher took the minor to the mechanic’s shop, where they then had sexual intercourse in a van parked inside the shop. Shortly after this trip, the minor and siblings were taken into protective custody in response to the federal investigation.

    Christopher was originally charged in a five-count indictment on Jan. 16, 2013. His case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner, who acted as lead prosecutor during Tony Alamo’s July 2009 criminal trial.

    Alamo was convicted by a jury of bringing five women he wed as children across state lines for sex. He is serving a 175-year sentence at a federal lockup in Tuscon, Ariz.

    This month, six properties in Fort Smith, Ark., including the Alamo Ministries church building will be auctioned to the highest bidders by federal marshals to help satisfy a $30 million judgment Alamo owes two men raised in the controversial group. The men were beaten, starved, forced to labor unpaid and denied education as children.

    A federal judge in Texarkana is considering the sale of additional properties in Fort Smith and Fouke, where Alamo Ministries members have lived communally in the past. Among the properties in the second group is the mechanic’s shop where Christopher molested one of his victims on multiple occasions.


  12. Former Alamo members file suit

    By Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, January 15, 2014

    Five women from 2009 criminal case, two others seek damages in state court

    Seven women, all former members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, filed a civil lawsuit Tuesday in state court in Miller County, Ark., seeking damages for suffering they endured under imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo’s control.

    Five of the women were listed as victims in Alamo’s criminal case. In 2009, he was convicted of bringing them as children across state lines for sex and later sentenced to 175 years in federal prison. One of the women escaped from Alamo’s house while being groomed to become a wife in Alamo’s polygamous house. The seventh woman remained loyal to Alamo until after he was sentenced to prison and alleges she wed Alamo at age 12.

    Alamo’s youngest “spiritual wife” was 8 at the time of her marriage to Alamo, according to testimony at Alamo’s criminal trial.

    Named as defendants in the suit filed on behalf of the women by Texarkana lawyer David Carter and Irving, Texas, lawyer Neil Smith, are Tony Alamo, Jeanne Estates Apartments and Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, one of the names used by Alamo for his church and business enterprises.

    The suit seeks damages for sexual, physical and psychological abuses suffered by the women. Alamo is guilty of orchestrating and carrying out much of the abuse, the complaint states. The other defendants were complicit in that abuses occurred on the properties or were ignored by Alamo followers who should have acted to protect the women.

    A similar suit recently was dismissed by a federal judge after a finding that the claims of federal law violations could not stand. The judge declined to make final rulings on violations of state law, leaving open the option of taking the complaint to a state court.

    The suit alleges negligence, negligent entrustment, negligent hiring, false imprisonment, invasion of privacy, defamation, joint venture/enterprise liability, battery and outrage. The plaintiffs are asking the court to award them actual and punitive damages. The case has been assigned to 8th Circuit Judge Brent Haltom.


  13. Tony Alamo victims awarded $525 million; L.A. properties may be sold

    By Paresh Dave, Los Angeles Times March 1, 2014

    Seven women who alleged they were sexually abused as children by former Christian ministry tycoon Tony Alamo were awarded $525 million by an Arkansas judge this week after an Alamo church failed to respond to a lawsuit.

    Collecting the largest judgment in Arkansas history, according to one of the plaintiffs' attorneys, will likely require some help from a Los Angeles court, though. Texas attorney David Carter said he would "soon" file paperwork asking that a court here sell at least two Santa Clarita Valley properties connected to Alamo's operation.

    "We're optimistic we can get a sale done this calendar year," Carter told the Los Angeles Times. "We're obviously satisfied with the court's damages finding, but at the same time there's no amount of money that will wash away the damage inflicted upon these women."

    Alamo's attorney, John Rogers, said he wasn't involved in the Arkansas lawsuit. Patrick Kilgore, an attorney for church members, didn't respond to a request for comment. A message was left with an answering service for Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

    Previous cases have whittled away the vast Alamo fortune. But Carter said a four-acre church site and a 90-acre plot -- both along the Sierra Highway -- could bring in nine figures, much of it because of underground water tables that church documents say are located there. Remaining church-goers could object to the sale.

    Alamo, 79, has been serving a 175-year prison sentence in Tucson after being convicted in 2009 on 10 counts of sex trafficking minors. Attorney Rogers is appealing the conviction on the grounds that a previous lawyer botched the case.

    During the 1960s, Alamo and his wife, Susan, founded a Christian organization in Los Angeles. They bused school dropouts and drug users into their shelters and provided food and anti-Catholic, anti-government religious lectures. The street preaching became a multimillion-dollar empire through a television show, events and merchandise cheaply manufactured by their adherents.

    After years of evading arrest, Alamo served four years in prison during the 1990s for not paying about $10 million in federal taxes. His ultimate downfall came in 2008.

    Authorities raided his Arkansas headquarters after allegations of child abuse, child pornography and polygamy. Alamo has said puberty signified an age of consent and that a godly man could take multiple wives.

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  14. The Arkansas lawsuit names Alamo, Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church and Jeanne Estate Apartments as defendants. The $525-million default judgment in actual and punitive damages was ordered against the church.

    Carter said he is unsure whether he will ask Miller County Judge Kirk Johnson for damages to be assessed against Alamo. And ministry-connected Jeanne Estate, which owns two apartment complexes in Arkansas and one in Oklahoma, has not been served with the lawsuit yet, Carter said. He expects that portion to go to trial.

    The lawsuit alleges against the church and apartment company negligence for not stopping Alamo, defamation and false imprisonment. Allegations against Alamo include battery, false imprisonment and outrage.

    The lawsuit states the victims were made "brides" and "spiritual wives" as early as age 8.

    One of the plaintiffs alleges Alamo "fondled" her when she visited him in prison and church members "shielded" the scene from guards. She eventually escaped the Alamo compound in Arkansas, the lawsuit states. That woman was awarded $30 million while the others were awarded up to $87 million each, according to court documents.

    The Times does not name victims in sexual assault cases.

    Carter also won a lawsuit in 2011 on behalf of two men who alleged Alamo abused them. A federal jury awarded the pair $66 million in total, reduced to $30 million on appeal.

    About $40,000 has been collected through the sale of a heavily-mortgaged Arkansas warehouse and house. To collect the rest, attorneys have identified 26 properties spread across Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and New Jersey. Only three or four of those properties have mortgages, Carter said.

    The Alamos, who were born Jewish, used the threat of hell to keep a tight rein on their Christian community, holding power over matters large and small, from approving clothes to selecting jobs and marriage partners. They built dorms, classrooms and play areas to keep children hooked, lawsuits have alleged.

    Alamo began having concurrent sexual relationships after his wife died in 1982 and failed to resurrect as he had said she would. Church-goers had kept an eye on her body for months. The Times reported that most people at the time agreed that Susan Alamo had been the real power behind the church.


  15. Alamo ‘wives’ win big lawsuit

    By Lynne LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, March 21, 2014

    Evangelist must pay more than half a billion dollars

    A circuit judge in Miller County, Ark., ordered imprisoned evangelist Tony Alamo to pay more than half a billion dollars in damages to seven women he sexually and physically abused.

    Six of the women were taken by Alamo as “spiritual wives” when they were children. The seventh was being groomed to be a wife in Alamo’s polygamous home when she ran away at age 15. Alamo is serving a 175-year federal prison sentence for bringing five of the women across state lines for sex when they were minors.

    Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson entered a default judgment Thursday against Alamo, 79, individually. Alamo failed to respond to a civil lawsuit filed by the women in Miller County. Alamo’s silence allowed Texarkana lawyer David Carter to seek the default judgment and damages award. The judgment is identical to one Johnson levied last month against Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, an arm of Alamo Ministries. The judgments against Twenty First and Alamo are the largest personal injury judgments in Arkansas history, Carter said.

    At Thursday’s hearing in a third-floor courtroom of Miller County Courthouse in downtown Texarkana, Ark., Carter asked Johnson to take notice of exhibits filed and testimony offered at the hearing concerning a default judgment against Twenty First on Feb. 24. Carter provided the court with hundreds of pages of deposition testimony by Alamo in 2012 and 2013.

    “He acknowledges to some degree the abuse of the plaintiffs,” Carter said. “He also talks about the hundreds of millions of dollars a year he has earned.”

    Carter provided Johnson a copy of a November 2013 opinion inked by federal U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant that found Alamo controls not only the property associated with his controversial congregation, but also the personal lives of his followers.

    “He’s still doing this. Even from prison,” Carter said. “We’re suggesting the same damages as Twenty First Century for his more than 20 years of abuse against these women.”

    At the end of the hearing, Johnson mentioned the multimillion-dollar judgment against Twenty First.

    “The court has previously held that $525 million is an appropriate damages award for their acquiescence to these heinous acts,” Johnson said. “The court has read each and every one of the psychological evaluations of the young ladies in this case … the abuse and underage marriages.”

    At last month’s hearing, Carter and Irving, Texas, lawyer Neil Smith introduced correspondence discovered during a search of ministry properties in Fouke, Ark., near Texarkana, which alleges water rights on property Alamo holds in California under the names of followers are worth several billion dollars. The property is in Santa Clarita, Calif., not far from Los Angeles. Carter said the Twenty First judgment has been filed in a California court and that he’ll be seeking court approval to sell the California properties to satisfy the judgment.

    Johnson’s docket entry in the case against Alamo states the judgment against the polygamist pastor will mirror the one against Twenty First.

    Desiree Kolbek, Amy Eddy, Jeanette Orlando and Summer Hagan—four of the five women listed as victims in Alamo’s federal criminal case—each received $29 million in actual damages and $58 million in punitive damages. Jamie Rodriguez, who was a listed victim in Alamo’s criminal case, received $22 million in actual damages and $44 million in punitive damages. Nicole Farr, who was being groomed to be an Alamo wife during her last years in the ministry, received $10 million in actual damages and $20 million in punitive damages. Pebbles Rodriguez, who left Alamo after his criminal conviction, received $27 million in actual damages and $54 million in punitive damages.


  16. Former Alamo followers sue

    By Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, April 24, 2014

    Twelve say they were abused as children

    Twelve former members of Tony Alamo Christian Ministries filed a federal lawsuit this week seeking damages for alleged abuses they suffered as children raised in the controversial group.

    Two of the 12 plaintiffs are still minors. All were either born or brought into the communal organization by their member parents, states a complaint filed Monday by Little Rock, Ark., lawyers Jonathan Lane and Charles Hancock.

    “The plaintiffs were subjected to the following by the individual defendants: brainwashed, imprisoned, forced to work long hours without pay, routinely beaten, starved as punishment for perceived wrongdoing, and subjected to horrible conditions such that they lived in a perpetual state of agony, fear and duress,” the complaint states.

    The complaint alleges the defendants violated the Trafficking Victims Protection Act by forcing the plaintiffs to labor unpaid under, “threats of serious harm, actual harm, physical restraint and psychological duress and coercion.”

    Named as defendants in the suit are Tony Alamo, Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, a number of businesses and organizations run by Alamo Ministries, seven individual members defined as officers of the business and organizational defendants, and “John Does I-XX, shareholders, officers, directors or employees of above named defendants, and any other business associated with above named defendants.”

    The suit alleges the female plaintiffs, “…lived in a constant state of fear of rape or forced marriage.”

    All of the plaintiffs allege they were tortured and ritualistically beaten.

    An African-American plaintiff was allegedly warned she would be killed by local citizens because of her race if she tried to escape the ministry and a male plaintiff was allegedly separated at a young age from his sisters and “allowed absolutely no contact with his mother,” the complaint states.

    The group is alleged to have routinely kept the births of children a secret from the outside world to help shield from liability for the abuse and forced labor. The complaint alleges “Alamo and several under his direction” are guilty of “documentary servitude” by preventing children from acquiring birth certificates and social security numbers.

    Alamo, 79, whose given name is Bernie LaZar Hoffman, is currently serving a 175-year federal prison term for bringing girls he wed as children across state lines for sex.

    Damages alleged by the plaintiffs include bodily injury, severe mental anguish, humiliation, embarrassment, confusion which will continue to interfere with daily living, the ability to earn a living and the enjoyment of life. The complaint seeks compensation for past and future medical expenses, past physical suffering, mental anguish past and future, lost wages past and future, attorney fees and court costs. The plaintiffs are also asking the court to award punitive damages meant to punish each defendant and set an example to others.

    The case is assigned to U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey in the Texarkana division of the Western District of Arkansas. None of the defendants has filed a response.


  17. Tony Alamo church empire dismantled

    By Julie Parr KTBS News, August 13, 2014

    Fouke, Ark. - Tony Alamo spent decades working as a Christian ministry tycoon with an empire that stretched from California to Arkansas.

    However, it was while he was living in the small town of Fouke, known as home to a mythical monster, that Alamo's own horrific crimes landed him behind bars.

    He is serving life for a long list of offenses that include battery, false imprisonment and marrying his victims, children, as young as 8-years old.

    With the the holdings of the Alamo ministry liquidated and put to better use, residents say his ministry is out of Fouke for good, but how hard will it be to shake the cult leader's legacy?

    The Tony Alamo Christian Ministry was set up in the Texarkana area in the 1990's. It was because the previously California-based evangelist was serving federal prison time for tax evasion.

    Fouke Mayor Terry Purvis remembers when Alamo and his followers set up a compound on the edge of town.

    "The more we start learning about this, the more we knew we had to get involved and put a stop to it," said Purvis.

    In 2008, the dismantling of Alamo's million dollar ministry began. FBI agents raided his home and seized seven girls, later believed to be Alamo's child brides.

    A year later, he was sentenced to life in prison.

    The women were awarded more than $1 billion by an Arkansas judge. Alamo also owes $30 million to two men who were beaten, starved, and denied education, while being raised in the ministry.

    Several of Alamo's properties have already been sold to help satisfy the court judgment including his church building in Fouke.

    The individual that bought the Fouke church building donated it to the Sanctuary of Hope Church in Fouke. Jonathan Stanley is the pastor.

    "Within ourselves we knew when we started praying that we didn't have the means to acquire that property. We just believed that God would provide," said Stanley.

    Judy Frazier is a longtime Fouke resident and member of the non-denominational church. She recalls two boys whom she helped escape Alamo's control.

    "The Alamo followers just happen to be standing guard duty that night, so I pulled into a side road there beside the church and waited. The two boys came from different directions and got in my vehicle. I carried them to Little Rock," Frazier recalls.

    She says when the Tony Alamo Christian Ministry signs are taken down in Fouke next month the whole community will be celebrating.

    "I had been praying before that if there is anyway I can help anyone in there, please give me that opportunity, and He did. I never dreamed that one day he would put that property into our hands," said Frazier.

    The city of Fouke has found some closure with these properties sold, but unfortunately Alamo who is still in prison has followers in other places.

    "Tony Alamo is still preaching his word from prison and his message is still getting out because his followers are able to obtain that material," said Jeanne Philyaw, PACA.

    Philyaw is a member of the group PACA or Partnered Against Cult Activity.

    She actively spoke out against Alamo during his trial, calling him the worst kind of predator using the name of God to abuse children.

    "As long as that kind of hatred can be put out, there will always need to be prayer and people watching," said Philyaw.

    Alamo is now 79 years old and currently serving out his 175-year prison sentence in Tuscon, Arizona.

    Prosecutors say some of Alamo's property sold for as much as a quarter of a million dollars.

    In an ironic twist, one of the properties belonged to former Judge Jim Hudson who presided over the child custody hearings.

    After Hudson's death in 2009, prosecutors say Alamo followers purchased the home.

    Now it's being sold, and the money will go to Alamo's victims.


  18. Tony Alamo Victims Lawyer To Seek Sierra Highway Land

    By Perry Smith KHTS (Santa Clarita, CA); August 25, 2014

    A Texarkana lawyer seeking compensation for the victims of a pastor convicted of sex crimes against children said he’ll likely be seeking Tony Alamo’s Santa Clarita Valley properties in October.

    In the meantime, followers at Tony Alamo’s Santa Clarita Valley properties on Sierra Highway continue to carry on the church in the name of Alamo. Santa Clarita Valley parking lots are still peppered with flyers about his ministry. Tony Alamo, who’s known in the federal prison system as Bernie Lazar Hoffman, is 79 years old, and approximately four years into a 175-year prison sentence

    Attorney W. David Carter said he’s been litigating properties for the victims of Alamo, whose real name is Bernie Lazar Hoffman, for nearly five years.

    Before being sentenced to 175 years for taking wives as young as 8 years old and having people beaten and sexually abused at his command, Alamo’s ministry amassed dozens of properties worth millions of dollars, Carter said.

    “I think you can safely say that, collectively, the properties in Arkansas are expected to generate seven figures for the kids,” Carter said, adding some of the settlements have terms preventing him from being too specific with the dollar values.

    That figure doesn’t include Santa Clarita Valley land that Carter is trying to link to Alamo’s incorporation, the 21st Century Holiness Tabernacle Inc., he said.

    However, the actual titleholders for the properties — his church site on Sierra Highway, a couple miles north of Rowher Canyon Road, and a 90-acre lot a little more than a mile north of Sand Canyon off Sierra Highway — remain unclear due to a complex web of entitlements, Carter said.

    Those properties were owned by the church’s corporation, the 21st Century Holiness Tabernacle Inc., Carter said, but conveyances, or ownership changes, began about two weeks before the victims received their judgment.

    A call to one of the church’s properties — a location listed on Yelp as 13136 Sierra Highway — was answered by a self-professed member of Alamo’s ministry named Suzette Brown.

    “Our pastor Tony Alamo is still the pastor,” Brown said, after identifying the address of the church. “He still makes all of the decisions — this is his ministry.”

    Brown said she’s been a member of the church for about six years, but she didn’t “have any information” on who owned the property.

    “That’s pretty much the MO we’ve run into,” Carter said, referring to myriad title changes. “They’ve been trying to shift title around and we’ve been trying to determine what the relationship is now between the company that owns the properties and what if any ties it has to the church.”

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  19. Carter suspected the actual owner might be a shell company based out of Wichita Falls, Texas, but he was still trying to “unscramble” that part.

    The California land would receive more focus once Alamo’s southeastern U.S. properties were sold, with the money going to satisfy a more-than half-billion dollar judgement against Alamo, Carter said.

    “We’ll wrap up with all the parties this part of the world in early October,” Carter said. “We’ll likely sue to set that aside (those properties for sale) here in Los Angeles.”

    In the Santa Clarita Valley, Tony Alamo Christian Church New Jerusalem Ministries still operates at 13136 Sierra Hwy, Canyon Country, according to the church’s website.

    It’s not the first judgment against Alamo.

    Five young women who testified last year that evangelist Tony Alamo took them as “wives” and sexually assaulted them when they were minors are entitled to $500,000 each from his multimillion-dollar ministry, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.

    U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes ordered restitution after a government witness said the women suffered physical and mental pain at the hands of Alamo, who is serving a 175-year prison sentence for taking the women when they were underage across state lines for sex.

    His Santa Clarita Valley followers still post writings attributed to Alamo on vehicles in Santa Clarita Valley parking lots.

    In his ruling, Barnes noted that each of the victims were assaulted by someone they regarded as a pastor and prophet.

    “The defendant has truly, truly damaged these five young girls and I don’t think any amount of money this court can order can replace their loss,” Barnes said.

    Prosecutors said they were confident Alamo, 75, could afford the $2.5 million judgment even though most of his assets are held in his followers’ names. He will not have to pay the restitution until his appeals are exhausted.