Of all the horrid accusations against evangelist Tony Alamo — and the list is long — it was the testimony of formerly loyal subjects, recounting "marriages" between their cult leader and girls as young as 8, that may end his 40-year rule and send him to prison for life.
Born Bernie Lazar Hoffman, the 74-year-old faces up to 175 years behind bars following his conviction Friday on 10 counts of transporting young girls across state lines for sexual purposes. Some jurors wept while women described being molested by and forced into sex with their decades-older pastor.
Among many who've watched Alamo's handiwork since the 1970s — which produced allegations including kidnapping, brainwashing, child abuse, tax evasion and threatening a federal judge — there was never any doubt the street-hustler-turned-pastor should be locked away for good. Their question is, what took so long?
"This man has been running around the country for decades getting away with doing awful things and hurtful things to people," said Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which lists Tony Alamo Christian Ministries as a hate group for its virulent anti-Catholicism and homophobic leaflets. . . . StarTribune
Catholic League Report Catholic Answers' This Rock 1990 article