LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Disgraced preacher Tony Alamo, who was convicted in Arkansas of sexually abusing girls he considered his wives, has died in a North Carolina prison. He was 82.
The U.S. Bureau of Prisons says Alamo died Tuesday while in a federal prison hospital in Butner, North Carolina. Alamo was convicted in 2009 of taking underage girls across state lines for sex, including a 9-year-old. He was sentenced to 175 years in prison.
The one-time street preacher in Los Angeles expanded his anti-Catholic, apocalyptic ministry into a multimillion-dollar network of businesses and property. Members were once known for designing elaborate jackets for celebrities, including Michael Jackson.
Alamo preached that polygamy was OK. Witnesses say he made all the decisions at his compound in southwest Arkansas, including who got married and who was allowed to eat.