September 26, 2008 in Nation/World

Evangelist accused of sex with minors

 
Associated Press photo

This undated file photo made available by Tony Alamo Christian Ministries shows Tony Alamo and his wife, Susan.
(Full-size photo)

FBI agents arrested evangelist and convicted tax evader Tony Alamo at an Arizona motel Thursday, alleging days after raiding the Arkansas headquarters of his ministry that he took minors across state lines for sexual purposes.

Alamo was staying at a hotel in Flagstaff, Ariz., when arrested, FBI spokesman Steve Frazier said in Little Rock. The religious leader – who began his career as a California street preacher in 1966 – was scheduled for a federal court appearance today in Flagstaff.

Alamo is suspected of violating the Mann Act, which prohibits taking children across state lines for illegal purposes. Frazier described those purposes as “sexual activity.”

Several women were traveling with Alamo when he was arrested, but no minors were with him, police said. Authorities did not say when minors were taken across state lines.

Detroit

Audit finds errors; police lab closed

The Detroit police crime lab was shut down by the city’s new mayor and police chief after an outside audit found errors in some evidence used to prosecute cases involving murder and other crimes, officials said Thursday.

Wrongful convictions are a possibility, according to the audit, conducted by the Michigan State Police. Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy also noted that some criminals may have gone uncharged because of the lab’s shortcomings.

The audit found erroneous or false findings in 10 percent of 200 random cases and subpar quality control compliance at the lab, Worthy said.

The report revealed a “shocking level of incompetence” in the lab and constitutes a systemic problem, she said at a news conference. When it came to recognized work standards, the lab met only 42 percent of a required 100 percent, Worthy said.

Charleston, W.Va.

Prosecutor drops flatulence charges

A West Virginia man accused of passing gas and fanning it toward a police officer no longer faces a battery charge.

The Kanawha County prosecutor’s office requested that the charge be dropped against 34-year-old Jose Cruz.

According to a criminal complaint, Cruz passed gas and made a fanning motion toward patrolman T.E. Parsons after being taken to the police station for a breathalyzer test. Cruz denies fanning the gas and says his request to use a restroom when first arriving at the station was denied.

Cruz, who was arrested Tuesday, still faces driving under the influence and other charges.

From wire reports


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