Former Evangelist Receives 175-Year Sentence for Sexual Exploitation Offenses

TEXARKANA, AR—Bernie Hoffman, aka Tony Alamo, founder and leader of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, age 75, was sentenced to 175 years' imprisonment today by U.S. District Court Judge Harry F. Barnes in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas, announced U.S. Attorney Deborah Groom. Alamo was convicted this summer of charges that he transported minor girls across state lines with the intent to engage in sexual activity. On July 24, 2009, after six days of testimony, the jury found Alamo guilty on all 10 counts of the federal indictment. During the trial, the women testified Alamo had sexual relations with them while they were underage and that they traveled across state lines with Alamo, or at his request, for the purpose of his having sexual relations with them. The sentence included a fine in the amount of $250,000, and special assessments in the amount of $850.00. The sentence represents the maximum sentence on each of the 10 counts which will be served consecutively.

The case was investigated by agents of the FBI and the Arkansas State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kyra Jenner, Candace Taylor, and Clay Fowlkes prosecuted the case for the United States.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse, launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims of abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit