Evangelist Tony Alamo was sentenced Friday to 175 years in prison for taking little girls as young as 9 across state lines to have sex with them.
The decision punishes him for the rest of his life for molesting children he took as "brides" in his ministry.
Alamo, 75, had denied the charges, claiming they came from a Vatican-led conspiracy against the church he led, called the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.
During Friday's hearing in Texarkana, Ark., some of Alamo's victims testified about how their families were destroyed while the evangelist took over their lives.
Alamo was convicted in July on a 10-count federal indictment. U.S. District Judge Harry F. Barnes said Alamo used his status as father figure and pastor and threatened the girls with "the loss of their salvation."
This guy seems even worse than Warren Jeffs. Alamo is older than Jeffs and Alamo's "wives" are younger. Even by his own description that the onset of puberty is the point at which young women can marry, he did wrong taking girls as young as 9.
Does the fact that Tony Alamo used religion as a justification make the crimes worse? Many men force themselves on women, even very young ones. But, do you think these pseudo-religious organizations that do it make the crime even more despicable?
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.
also posted at Man With the Muck-Rake