Former Tony Alamo Mother-In-Law Wants Guilty Verdict

4029 TV News, Arkansas/July 23, 2009

Barling, Arkansas - A former Tony Alamo church members says Alamo used religion to take advantage of people, including her daughter who was forced to marry the evangelist when she was 17 years old.

Carol Fryer said she never thought she'd see the day Alamo would face a jury.

She and her family joined the Alamo ministry in the 1980s. Fryer said looking back things didn't seem right from the beginning.

"The stark reality hit me in the first service that I attended," Fryer said. "They were kind of like robots."

Fryer said the evangelist forced her minor daughter into marriage after threatening her at a California church building.

"She made me think she was really happy," Fryer said. "I didn't find out what was really going on until he invited me to come over the house."

Fryer said shortly after the marriage Alamo began sexually abusing her daughter.

"I was upset, but there wasn't anything you could say or do," Fryer said."

Fryer said she has been following Alamo's trial since it started and was disturbed to hear the stories of abuse.

"When I read some of the stories... that little 11 year old girl carrying the sheets out of his bedroom stuff like that tears your heart out," Fryer said. "Some of those little girls I babysat. I loved them, and he tore their lives apart. He destroyed them."

Fryer said she's praying the jury listened to the testimony and finds Alamo guilty. She worries for other families if he is allowed to walk a free man.

"I'll be very upset because that will put all those children in harm's way again," Fryer said. "There will be future victims."

Fryer said she and her daughter are no longer members of Alamo's church. Fryer said her daughter is now in her 30s and has a successful career in computer technology.

Fryer said if Alamo is found not guilty he will likely still run the church from prison through phone calls and letters.

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