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MEMBER OF TONY ALAMO CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON FOR OFFENSE INVOLVING SEXUAL ABUSE OF A MINOR

 



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 9, 2014

 






Fort Smith, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced that Douglas James Christopher, 60, of Valparaiso, Indiana, was sentenced today for knowingly transporting a minor from Oklahoma to Arkansas with the intent to engage in sexual activity. Christopher was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. The sentencing took place before the Honorable P.K. Holmes III in United States District Court for the Western District of Arkansas in Fort Smith.

U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “This defendant, like others involved in the Alamo organization, engaged in horrendous conduct involving sexual abuse of a minor child. I appreciate the tireless work of law enforcement and our office to bring sexual perpetrators to justice. We will not rest in our efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute those who abuse our children.”

Fort Smith Police Detective Kris Deason stated, “Today Douglas Christopher was sentenced in Federal Court to life in prison for his horrendous crimes against a young child, which took away her innocence and trust. This had an impact on her and her entire extended family that will not quickly fade away. Life in prison is the only just and appropriate sentence for him, and he will not be able to victimize anyone again.”

“Today’s life sentence sends a very strong message to those who would transport children across state lines to engage in criminal sexual activity,” stated Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Howard S. Marshall. “ I am so proud of the agents and officers, victim specialists, and attorneys who worked so diligently on this very difficult case that involved such heinous crimes.”

According to court records, Christopher, a member of the Tony Alamo Christian Ministries, previously resided at an Alamo compound located in Muldrow, Oklahoma. In September 2008, a law enforcement raid of Alamo’s compound in Fouke, Arkansas, caused Alamo satellite-compound residents to go into hiding. Christopher and other followers relocated to Valparaiso, Indiana. While living in Oklahoma, Christopher was assigned to stand watch at properties under the organization’s control. One location, on Division Street in Fort Smith, Arkansas, was known as the “mechanic’s shop.” Beginning around June 2003, Christopher began transporting a minor, whose mother he had married in 2000, from the family’s home in Oklahoma to the mechanic’s shop for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse. Specifically, in August 2008, when the minor was 13 years old, Christopher transported the minor to the mechanic’s shop where they then had sexual intercourse in a van parked inside the shop. Shortly after this trip, the minor and siblings were taken into protective custody in response to the federal investigation of Tony Alamo.

This case was investigated by the FBI Special Agent Timmy Akins and Fort Smith Police Department Detective Kris Deason. Assistant United States Attorney Kyra Jenner prosecuted the case for the United States.

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