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Alamo appeals sentence

Posted: August 27, 2010 8:55 p.m.
Updated: August 28, 2010 4:30 a.m.

Tony Alamo, a 75-year-old evangelist sentenced to spend the rest of his life behind bars for having sex with young children, will have a chance to fight his 175-year prison sentence before a federal appeals court next month, officials announced Friday.

His followers maintain Tony Alamo Christian Ministries’ oldest church on the rugged outskirts of Saugus — a chapel patrolled by armed guards and surrounded by a scattered network of compounds deep in the canyons near Sierra Highway.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at St. Louis has scheduled oral arguments for Sept. 21. Alamo, who has maintained his innocence, appealed his sentence after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of transporting minors across state lines for sex.

Alamo was also ordered to pay $2.5 million in restitution, $500,000 each to five Jane Does with whom Alamo allegedly had sex, plus a $250,000 fine.

The daughter of his late wife, Susan Alamo, who had co-founded Alamo’s ministry, lamented the appellate court’s decision to hear his case.

“I’m sorry the appeals court has to even be bothered with this, but I have no doubt that they will rule appropriately because justice trumps madness,” said Christhiaon Coie, who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley. “He’s where he deserves to be, and should serve his entire term.”

Alamo is being held in a federal prison in Tucson, Ariz.


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