State child-welfare officials say child of Tony Alamo followers is at risk of serious harm

Associated Press/September 25, 2009

Little Rock, Arkansas - State child-welfare officials say a baby born to followers of convicted evangelist Tony Alamo is at substantial risk of injury.

An affidavit filed last week in Miller County Circuit Court a caseworker with the state Department of Human Services said the 3-month-old boy is in danger of abuse. The affidavit also says a judge in January ruled that the Alamo ministry was an unfit environment for the boy's four siblings.

But Cheryl Barnes of the CPS Legal Watch Team that's helping the parents calls the petition retaliation. She says it was filed two days after the parents filed an affidavit in U.S. District Court in Texarkana as part of a lawsuit contending DHS is infringing on the religious freedoms of ministry members.

Alamo was convicted in July of taking young girls across state lines for sex and is awaiting sentencing.

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