Cops Raid Evangelist Complex in Kid Abuse Probe

Arkansas leader calls case a 'hoax'
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Sep 21, 2008 5:28 AM CDT
FBI agents execute search warrants at a residence located inside of the Tony Alamo Ministries compound yesterday in Fouke, Ark.    (AP Photo/Texarkana Gazette, Tanner Spendley)
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(Newser) – Police raided an evangelist’s compound in Arkansas seeking evidence into allegations that he physically and sexually abused children, CNN reports. Some 100 agents took part in the raid on the 15-acre grounds in Fouke near Texarkana. Authorities were interviewing several children throughout the weekend. Evangelist leader Tony Alamo ripped the accusations as "a hoax," and claimed he was being subjected to the same religious prosecution as Christ.

“They're trying to make out church look evil," he added. "I love children. I don't abuse them. Never have, never will." Alamo, 74, is well-known locally and critics consider his Tony Alamo Christian Ministries a cult. “He is an extremely controversial character,” said a reporter.