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Judge asked to seize buildings

All 6 sites have ties to evangelist Alamo’s abuse case by Andy Davis | May 15, 2013 at 5:14 a.m.

Federal prosecutors on Tuesday asked a judge to order the seizure of six buildings that they say evangelist Tony Alamo used to facilitate the sexual abuse of young girls.

Alamo, 78, was 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. He was also fined $250,000 and ordered to pay $500,000 in restitution to each of his accusers, who said Alamo took them to be his “wives” at young ages.

In filings Tuesday in federal court in Fort Smith and Texarkana, prosecutors asked a judge to order the seizure of Alamo’s house at the church complex in Fouke, where they said Alamo forced his accusers to have sex with him.

Other buildings sought by prosecutors include a church gym, where church members were beaten with a board as punishment for misbehavior, and a house at the Fouke complex known as the “house of scorn,” where girls were forced to fast.

In Fort Smith, prosecutors are seeking the seizure of a house on Meadow Lane and a building on Division Street known as the “mechanic’s shop.”

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit filed with prosecutors’ request to seize the buildings, one of Alamo’s accusers in the criminal case told authorities that Alamo repeatedly forced her to have sex in the Meadow Lane house in 1994, when she was 15.

Another former church member told authorities that her stepfather, a ministry member, forced her to have sex with him in the mechanic’s shop, the affidavit says.

Prosecutors are also seeking the seizure of a house on Locust Avenue in Texarkana where the FBI agent said one of Alamo’s accusers told authorities she was forced to fast for a week.

A call late Tuesday to Conner Eldridge, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, wasn’t returned. Alamo’s attorney, John Rogers of Clayton, Mo., also didn’t return a call seeking comment.

The request by prosecutors comes as attorneys for two former ministry members are seeking the seizure of five other ministry buildings and a parking lot in Fort Smith to satisfy a $30 million judgment in a lawsuit against Alamo.

Spencer Ondrisek and Seth Calagna said in the lawsuit that Alamo ordered them to be beaten and to fast while they were children and members of the ministry.

A hearing of the request by Ondrisek and Calagna is set for May 30 in U.S. District Court in Texarkana.

Arkansas, Pages 11 on 05/15/2013

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