Lawyer: Evangelist too weak, old for sex crimes

Associated Press/March 19, 2009

Little Rock, Arkansas - The new defense lawyer for jailed evangelist Tony Alamo said Thursday that his client's poor eyesight and diminishing physique would have made it impossible for him to have had sex with underage girls, as federal prosecutors claim.

California lawyer Danny Davis told The Associated Press that "it would be physically impossible" for the 74-year-old man to have sex with girls in showers and buses - accusations lodged by authorities who arrested Alamo on Sept. 25.

"As a younger man, he was a strong bull of a man. At 74, he's close to half of the weight," Davis said of his client.

Alamo faces a 10-count federal indictment accusing him of transporting young girls across state lines for sex.

Davis, 63, said that the young girls in Alamo's case may have "cross-contaminated" each other's stories with similar allegations. The lawyer also said Alamo's poor eyesight showed he couldn't have driven any vehicle across a state line and that his followers likely crossed on their own.

Whether Alamo could take part in a sex act would be examined and possibly included in his defense, Davis said.

Davis recently took over Alamo's defense from Little Rock lawyer John Wesley Hall Jr. Davis said Alamo worried that Hall's busy practice might prevent him from focusing on his case.

Davis also represented Alamo in 1991, when the evangelist was accused of child abuse in California stemming from a 1988 beating of an 11-year-old boy at an Alamo compound north of Los Angeles. The case didn't go to trial after Alamo went to federal prison over tax evasion charges.

Davis claimed that case "went away under its own failed merits."

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