Kent Hovind’s half-billion dollar lawsuit against the United States and various individuals implicated in his nearly decade long imprisonment appears to be totally done. But that’s currently the least of his legal problems. On September 21, Judge Clinton Hyde of District Court of Conecuh County Alabama found Hovind guilty of third degree domestic assault against Cindi Lincoln, Hovind’s third wife.
About Kent Hovind
Kent Hovind is an independent Baptist minister and an advocate of Young Earth Creationism (YEC). YEC is the notion that you can arrive at the age of the Earth (and the whole physical universe) by summing up those begats in the Bible to get to a point where chronology is pretty uncontroversial. It works out to around 6,000 years as opposed to conventional science which puts Earth between four and five billion years old and the universe between 13 and 14 billion.
6,000 years is not nearly enough time for evolution to work and it also implies that dinosaurs and humans coexisted – hence Kent Hovind’s sobriquet “Doc Dino” and the theme parks named Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL) – the first in Pensacola and the current one in Lenox, Alabama.
Hovind’s long federal sentence was the result of the way the Pensacola DAL was operated using a “non-statutory trust” Creation Science Evangelism, which ended up being considered an alter ego to Kent and his then wife Jo, who received a shorter sentence. She divorced him not very long after his release from prison in 2015.
The new DAL is much more conventional. The property is owned and operated by Creation Science Ministries Inc a 501(c)(3) organization that is recognized by the IRS as a church. A for profit S Corporation owned by Ernie Land, Kent’s consigliere of a sort, runs the store and pays Kent for the use of his intellectual property. Kent has been making videos since the nineties and has written several books.
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The Half Billion Dollar Lawsuit
The lawsuit, which I covered here and here, was really quite hopeless. It was based on the theory that the federal government did not have jurisdiction over Kent Hovind along with 76%, more or less, of what we consider the United States. He was seeking damages for a conviction that had been upheld on appeal to the 11th Circuit. To get damages for an unlawful conviction, you have to show that it was, you know, unlawful.
I was disappointed at the ending. The appeal was dismissed due to lack of proper timely filing.
ENTRY OF DISMISSAL: Pursuant to the 11th Cir.R. 42-2(c), this appeal is DISMISSED for want of prosecution because the appellant Paul John Hansen and Kent E. Hovind failed to file a CORRECTED (complete) brief and appendix within the time fixed by the rules, effective September 27, 2021.
I don’t know if Hovind and his CSE Trustee Paul John Hansen, who has done the legal heavy lifting, will come up with something to breath life back into the case, but it is done for now and likely forever.
Dinosaur Adventure Land
Dinosaur Adventure Land in Lenox Alabama is the physical manifestation of the ministry’s message which Kent regularly repeats with minor variation on his Youtube channel:
We’re the folks who believe the Bible is true. God made everything in six days. Dinosaurs lived with man throughout history. We believe that the “evolution theory” is the most dangerous religious cult in the history of the world.
I visited DAL in 2019 and found it kind of congenial.
What I could not fully appreciate from a day’s visit is that DAL, which is pretty much entirely run by volunteers, is a sort of intentional community. When people get together to serve a higher purpose and are living together 24/7, they can get on one another’s nerves. As Abigal Megginson remarked from her visit in 2018 “It’s not all rainbows and dinosaurs”. Intentional communities that last a really long time are pretty rare.
Mary Tocco was Kent’s second wife. He married her about a year after his release from prison in 2015. She was at DAL from September 2016 to July 2017. Among the concerns that prompted her to leave was the mix of people at DAL.
People come from all over and they are not properly vetted. He invited anyone and attracts Ex-drug and active addicts, homeless vagabonds in the mix of good, Christian people who are looking for purpose and found his ministry. Good Christians come hopeful and leave very disappointed, I know dozens who could tell you I am being honest.
As with all three of his post release marriages Kent’s marriage to Mary Tocco was a religious ceremony without a state marriage license. This creates a peculiar situation as Alabama recognized common law marriages until 2017. So under Alabama law, Hovind is not and was not married to Cindi Lincoln and his recent bride Sandra Princess Sawyer. Arguably he is still married to Mary Tocco, as the dissolution of a common law marriage requires a formal divorce.
There was not as much fanfare when Kent Hovind married Cindi Lincoln. It did not even rate a Youtube announcement as did his marriage last month to Sandra Princess Sawyer.
The Financial Dispute
Prior to filing the domestic violence complaint, Cindi Lincoln was engaged in a financial dispute with Hovind and the ministry. It is a little convoluted.
Cindi owned a house in California which she was renting out for income. She sold it and wanted to replace the income with rental property in Alabama. She told me that she picked up the idea of rental property as a sound source of reliable income from her father. She sold the California property and acquired at least one local rental property. She also gave around $100,000 to the ministry. According to Ernie Land, she gave by buying things some of which were of use to the ministry and others not so much.
When it comes to real estate California is different from Alabama. Cindi was going to buy multiple properties to replace the income from the California property. She already had $700 per month and needed another $1,300 per month. Why not put an additional $133,000 into the ministry in exchange for an annuity of $1,300 per month? Well one reason might be that that is more than twice what an insurance company would pay her, but that didn’t seem to enter so much in the thinking.
It gets confusing and contradictory from here, but an agreement was made that gave her $1,300 per month for twenty years. Only it was not with the ministry, it was with the S Corporation. And the agreement does not mention the $133,000 Cindi would be putting into the ministry (by paying for things rather than cash transfer which also makes for some unclarity). Instead the agreement recites that it is:
In order to contract for the support of the spouse of Dr. Kent Hovind and to incorporate such support into his intellectual property right agreement.
Hard To Litigate
So CSE (The S Corporation) is agreeing to pay money that it owes Kent Hovind to Kent Hovind’s spouse, Hovind not having signed the agreement. And the consideration of Hovind’s spouse to CSE was? That’s the question for the exam. Remember CSEM is what Cindi is supporting
At any rate after Cindi left DAL the monthly payments stopped. The reasoning is that she is no longer Kent’s spouse. If you are willing to sacrifice an hour of lifespan that you will never get back, you can follow a discussion of this issue among the principals, that Atheist Jr has provided to his viewers.
I think it would have been extremely expensive and not all that practical to litigate this issue. Nonetheless, I think it would have been really smart to have paid her the money back. This is what I attribute to Hovind’s stubbornness.
The Body Slam Trial
To be fair to Kent Hovind, it is important to emphasize that Cindi herself indicates that the altercation in question was the only time that Kent Hovind hurt her physically. That is why she hesitated to report it.
I asked Kent Hovind since October repeatedly to please pay half my medical bills; that I would take half of the responsibility because I was yelling and screaming at him; but if he would please help me pay half and confess to the truth at least to me as husband and wife; he continued to lie and say that he never bodyslammed me, that I tripped on the rug.
I knew was he was a public figure; and it was the only time he had ever physically hurt me; and so I was going to protect my husband. All I wanted was for him to tell me the truth between him and I only and help me pay the medical bill. He refused to do either and went public on campus and on YouTube telling everybody I was lying and that I had to pay all the medical bills myself.
Hovind’s defense is that he had adopted a practice of recording his conversations with Cindi. He has over 600 recordings that he is threatening to release on the internet. In the incident tried in the court, he maintains Cindi was trying to grab the phone and he was trying to prevent that and she fell. You can’t rule out that they are both being truthful on that point in my mind. Nonetheless, Judge Hyde found Hovind guilty and sentenced him to one year in jail of which he will have to serve thirty days if the sentence holds.
I have to say the 600 plus recorded conversations recorded kind of creeps me out.
There is a motion for a new trial. Ernie Land indicated to me that they will be seeking a jury trial. I have not been able to nail down all the procedural issues. Two Alabama attorneys I spoke with indicated that the sentence was rather stiff for a first time conviction of third degree domestic assault.
Kent Hovind’s 2015 trial turned into something of an alt-right media circus. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one.
Cindi Lincoln’s Youtube channel is, of late, mainly focused on issues surrounding their dispute.
Kent Hovind’s channel covers the issues occasionally. He devotes a good bit of time to it beginning around 5:00 in this Dr Kent Hovind: Matthew 24 – The Future.
Hemant Mehta has Creationist Kent Hovind Sentenced to 30 Days In Jail for Domestic Violenceon Friendly Atheist.
James Ashley has Kent Hovind, who is a Friend of Jim Bob Duggar Arrested For Domestic Violence in the Bulletin Time.
Then there is the Facebook site Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare if you really want to dig in. Although there are now other admins and many people contributing KHWN is the inspiration of Robet Baty, one of the few critics that Kent will mention by name. Baty is a retried IRS appeals officer and Hovind insists that he is been called out of retirement by IRS specifically to “Get Hovnd”.