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The seizure Friday of four young brothers associated with Tony Alamo Christian Ministries in Arkansas brought to 36 the number of children taken into custody by state child-welfare authorities.

Julie Munsell, spokesman for the state Department of Human Services, said in an e-mail Friday evening that the four boys, all under 18, were taken into state custody in Arkansas about 5:45 p.m. Friday.

She said no other details were available.

Since a Sept. 20 raid on Alamo's compound at Fouke in southwest Arkansas, state officials have seized 36 children associated with the jailed evangelist's ministries over stories of alleged beatings and sexual abuse.

Alamo, 74, remains held without bond on charges that he violated the Mann Act, a federal law that bans carrying women or girls across state lines for "prostitution or debauchery, or for any other immoral purpose."

Alamo, who has said "consent is puberty" when it comes to sex with young girls, has pleaded not guilty to the federal charges. The evangelist has blamed his prosecution on a federal push to legalize same-sex marriage while outlawing polygamy, as well as a Vatican-led conspiracy and drug-abusing ex-followers.

Alamo faces trial in February on the 10 federal child-abuse charges in Arkansas. Alamo's lawyer has said he may ask a judge for more time to prepare a defense.

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