House of Prayer pastor to serve 2 years for violating probation

Associated Press/August 26, 2003

The pastor of the House of Prayer church, who was convicted on child cruelty charges and evaded arrest for five months, was sentenced to two years in prison Monday for violating probation.

The Rev. Arthur Allen, 71, was found guilty in October of brutally whipping two boys, then 7 and 10, at the northwest Atlanta church in February 2001. Five other church members also were found guilty of whipping the boys.

Allen had been ordered to pay a $8,900 fine and given a 10-year sentence, with 90 days to serve in jail and the rest on probation.

Allen skipped a hearing in March to determine whether he had violated probation by not attending parental counseling courses and failing to pay his fine. He eluded police for five months until his arrest on Aug. 18, when he was arrested by National Park Service rangers who found him in a parked car.

On Monday, Fulton Superior Court Judge T. Jackson Bedford told Allen that he would go back to prison for two years. The remainder of the original sentence will be spent on probation.

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