Followers of convicted evangelist Tony Alamo failed to attend a court hearing that was scheduled to consider their claims of ownership of Alamo ministry properties in Fouke and Texarkana, Arkansas.
A federal magistrate ruled previously that the properties can be sold to help pay $30 million Alamo owes two men after a federal jury found that he ordered the beatings and other abuse of the men when they were children in his ministry, but scheduled a hearing on claims that members of the ministry are the owners.
The Texarkana Gazette reported Thursday that one man, Douglas Brubach, who has claimed ownership of a house in Fouke that has been ordered sold, sent a letter to U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry Bryant to explain his absence from Wednesday's hearing.
Brubach referred to prior proceedings concerning the properties in which Bryant rejected the ownership claims of ministry members.
"I do not intend to be on hand for more of the same on the April 30, 2014, hearing," Brubach's letter states. "It appears to me our entire congregation has been tried and convicted with Pastor Alamo because we don't believe he is guilty of all the abominable acts he has been accused of."
Alamo is serving a 175-year prison sentence after being convicted of taking young girls across state lines for sex.
Bryant previously ruled a number of properties associated with Alamo's ministry are held for the benefit and profit of Alamo even though title to the real estate is held in the names of individual members, with ownership routinely transferred from member to member via quitclaim deeds.