Kent Hovind sentenced to ten years
Kent Hovind, the evangelist who styles himself "Dr. Dino" and runs the Creation Science Evangelism ministry as well as Dinosaur Adventure Land, a small creationist theme park in Pensacola, Florida, was sentenced to ten years in federal prison on January 19, 2007. In November 2006, a federal jury found Hovind guilty of fifty-eight charges, including failing to pay payroll taxes for his employees, structuring financial transactions to avoid reporting requirements, and "corruptly endeavor[ing] to obstruct and impede the due administration of the internal revenue laws" in a number of ways. He was detained in jail until his sentencing, although his wife Jo Hovind, who was found guilty of forty-four charges, was allowed to remain free.
At the sentencing, the Pensacola News-Journal (January 20, 2007) reported, Hovind adopted a meek demeanor, telling the judge, "I stand here in great fear of the power of this court. Your decision can destroy my life, my ministry and my grandchildren." But recordings [Link broken] of his telephone conversations from the jail, played in court, told a different story: Hovind accused the Internal Revenue Service, the judge, and the prosecutor of violating the law in prosecuting him, and referred to unspecified things he could do "to make their lives miserable." In handing down the sentence, the judge explained that Hovind's troubles were due to his "refusing to accept what the law is." In addition to ten years in prison and three years of probation, Hovind's sentence also included paying over $600,000 in restitution to the IRS.
In "Earth to 'Dr. Dino': Please pay your taxes and start facing reality," a columnist for the News-Journal (January 21, 2007) was unsympathetic to Hovind's plight, writing, "You got caught, so quit whining and take your punishment like a man." The column continued, "Hovind is sniffling in court, dabbing tears from his eyes and comparing himself to Jesus and Job. He urges the judge to let him go home rather than do serious time for bilking the government. This same government guarantees 'Dr. Dino' freedom of religion and freedom of speech so he can denounce the theory of evolution, promote "creation science" -- an oxymoron to many -- and operate Dinosaur Adventure Land and Creation Science Evangelism." The columnist was more sympathetic to Jo Hovind, who is due to be sentenced on March 1, 2007.