Seven women who were raped and abused by evangelist Tony Alamo for years were awarded more than half a billion dollars by a judge in Arkansas after Alamo Ministries didn’t even bother responding to the lawsuit they filed against the now-notorious preacher.
Miller County Circuit Judge Kirk Johnson entered a default judgment this week against Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church, an arm of Alamo Ministries, after the group, based in southwestern Arkansas, failed to respond to the civil suit. Johnson awarded the women a total of $525 million in actual and punitive damages.
In the judgment, Johnson wrote that Twenty First Century Holiness Tabernacle Church acted “willfully and maliciously” in causing the plaintiffs’ damages.
David Carter, who represents the women, said he’s very satisfied with the court’s judgment.
“It serves as notice that you cannot facilitate or enable abuse without answering for your responsibility in court,” he told The Associated Press.
The actual damages awarded to each woman range from $10 million to $29 million. The court also gave each plaintiff punitive damages worth double the amount of actual damage. Those range from $20 million to $58 million.
Alamo himself is in prison for 175 years for raping young girls involved in his ministry. The court will begin seizing property to pay off this award.