Alamo follower released from Arkansas jail

Associated Press/January 30, 2009

Texarkana, Arkansas - A Texarkana woman has been released from jail after spending more than a week behind bars for contempt of court after refusing to answer questions about pictures and video of children from the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries.

Two other ministry members, who were jailed for contempt after refusing to answer questions about the whereabouts of their children, remain in custody, however. Circuit Judge Joe Griffin said he might hold a hearing next week to see whether those two parents are ready to talk.

The woman who was freed had been in jail since January 20th. She paid a $1,000 fine after a closed hearing before Griffin, in which the judge said she answered questions but he did not "particularly find those answers credible."

2 of the woman's children are among 36 ministry children whom the state has taken into protective custody and placed in foster care amid allegations of beatings and sexual abuse.

Ministry leader, Tony Alamo, is in custody, awaiting federal trial on charges that he brought five girls across state lines for sex in violation of the Mann Act.

Thirty children remain in foster care after a custody review by Griffin and a second judge. A custody review for the other six children is scheduled for today in Fort Smith.

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