LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - State officials in Arkansas have taken
protective custody of 21 children associated with a Christian
ministry whose founder faces federal child sex charges.
The children, all under 18 and part of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, were taken while custody hearings continue for six girls seized during a September raid of Alamo's compound. The court must decide whether they should be returned to their parents or remain in state care.
On Monday, a 14-year-old girl testified that Alamo molested her, counted a number of young girls as his wives, and coached her and
others to say they weren't touched improperly or beaten.
Authorities took three children into custody Tuesday at the courthouse in Texarkana. Police seized the other 18 children from two vans during a traffic stop.
A court order cites allegations of neglect and physical abuse as the reason for the seizures.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)