July 23, 2009

Jurors Hear Closing Arguments in Cult Leader's Trial

TEXARKANA, Ark. -- A prosecutor told federal jurors Wednesday that society cannot tolerate sexual predators like self-proclaimed evangelist Tony Alamo and that they must convict him on charges that he took five young girls across state lines for sex. At times while she spoke, Alamo fell asleep. "Your crimes have been exposed in this courtroom," Assistant U.S. Attorney Kyra Jenner told Alamo after turning away from jurors and toward the defense table. Awake at this point, Alamo sneered and waved her away. Alamo, 74, is facing a 10-count indictment. Defense lawyers argued the girls traveled the country for legitimate church business and said jurors could convict Alamo only if prosecutors proved their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Alamo's legal team had largely shied away at trial from directly challenging victims over whether the sex occurred. The defense rested its case Wednesday after persuading the flamboyant minister not to testify. Though he had told reporters he would take the stand, Alamo later said he choose not to testify in an "unjust court." "It wouldn't have done any good, I'm not allowed to use the Bible," he said Wednesday as federal marshals escorted him to waiting car.
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Cult Leader Opts Not to Testify In Sex-Crimes Trial TEXARKANA, Ark. -- Self-proclaimed evangelist Tony Alamo placed his fate in a federal jury's hands Wednesday, choosing not to testify on his own behalf at a trial over charges that he took five young girls across state lines for sex. The flamboyant minister's legal team rested its case after persuading Alamo that he should not directly challenge testimony that said he "married" the girls while they were underage. Alamo's lawyers and other defense witnesses said girls traveled for legitimate church business.
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Posted by Editor at July 23, 2009 07:24 AM

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