The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 30, 2012

Ala. farmer sentenced in molestation cover-up


Associated Press

— MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — A federal judge in Alabama sentenced a Theodore nursery farmer to two months in prison, and imposed a fine of $25,000 for covering up child molestation allegations leveled against his eldest son.

Al.com reports (http://bit.ly/TyrEkF ) Bill Atkinson was sentenced Friday after being convicted in August of obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Atkinson ordered two of his sons to destroy a digital video recorder with footage of William Atkinson IV allegedly sexually abusing children at a family-run orphanage in Honduras.

Officials say one of Atkinson's brothers secretly recorded the footage.

Federal authorities accused Bill Atkinson of lying to Honduran officials to try getting his son out of the country.

Bill Atkinson says he went to Honduras to try bringing his son home out of fear that he may have been suicidal.