Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Meet Tony Alamo
He is accused by former church members of abusing children and running an underground organization in which girls who just hit puberty can actually marry. This weekend, agents raided his southwest Arkansas compound and placed 6 girls in state custody. But during this madness, he had this to say.
"In the Bible it happened. But girls today, I don't marry 'em if they want to at 14-15 years old. Because we won't do it, even though I believe it's OK."
In an interview on Saturday, he had said that for girls having sex, "consent is puberty."
Some former members of his "church" have seen older men marrying girls who just reached puberty.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said in an e-mail that was inadvertently sent to media last week said agents expected to find children ages 12-14 who had been abused and that they expected to file charges. The e-mail said agents believed child pornography was being produced at the compound in Fouke.Under state law, investigators have to make a court filing after a search warrant is executed that details what the search found. But Circuit Judge Jim Hudson said the document would be kept under seal because of the juveniles involved.
The six girls taken into state custody will require a hearing if they remain with the state on a long-term basis but there was no indication Monday that a hearing had been set.Source