2 ex-ministry members get $33 million each in suit

TEXARKANA, Ark. (AP) -- Two former members of convicted evangelist Tony Alamo's ministry have been awarded $33 million each after they sued Alamo for ordering them to be beaten.

A jury deliberated for a few hours Thursday before finding Alamo liable in a civil lawsuit in Texarkana.

Seth Calagna and Spencer Ondirsek were awarded $30 million each in punitive damages, plus another $3 million each to compensate them for past injuries. They say Alamo ordered another man to beat them. They were previously awarded $1.5 million each after that man failed to respond to their suit.

Alamo is serving a 175-year prison sentence for taking young girls across state lines for sex. His Little Rock attorney, John Wesley Hall Jr., called the sums awarded "outlandish" and says he'll ask that they be reduced.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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