Kent Hovind’s half-billion-dollar lawsuit against the United States and various people involved in his nearly decade-long imprisonment appears to be totally over. But that’s the least of his legal problems right now. On September 21, Judge Clinton Hyde of the Conecuh County District Court in Alabama convicted Hovind of third degree assault against Cindi Lincoln, Hovind’s third wife.
About Kent Hovind
Kent Hovind is an independent Baptist pastor and advocate for Young Earth Creationism (YEC). YEC is the idea that you can come to the age of the Earth (and the entire physical universe) by summing up those births in the Bible to get to a point where the timeline is fairly uncontroversial. It works around 6,000 years ago as opposed to conventional science which places the Earth between four and five billion years and the universe between 13 and 14 billion.
6,000 years is not enough time for evolution to work and that also implies that dinosaurs and humans coexisted – hence Kent Hovind’s moniker “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 how the Pensacola DAL was exploited using an “unlawful trust” of creation science evangelism, which came to be seen as an alter ego for Kent and his then wife, Jo, who received a shorter sentence. She divorced shortly after being released 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 recognized by the IRS as a church. A for-profit S Corporation owned by Ernie Land, a sort of consigliere of Kent, runs the store and pays Kent for the use of its intellectual property. Kent has been making videos since the 90s and has written several books.
The Half Billion Dollar Trial
The trial, which I have covered here and here, was truly hopeless. It was based on the theory that the federal government did not have jurisdiction over Kent Hovind with 76%, more or less, of what we consider to be the United States. He was seeking damages for a conviction which had been upheld on appeal to the 11th Circuit. To get damages for an illegal conviction, you have to prove that it was, you know, illegal.
I was disappointed at the end. The appeal was dismissed due to the lack of timely filing.
ENTRY OF DISMISSAL: In accordance with 11th Cir.R. 42-2 (c), this appeal is DISMISSED for want of prosecution because appellant Paul John Hansen and Kent E. Hovind failed to file a (full) CORRECTED factum and annex within the time limit set by the rules, as of September 27, 2021.
I’m not sure if Hovind and his CSE administrator Paul John Hansen, who did most of the legal work, will find something to bring the case back to life, but it’s done for now and probably forever.
Dinosaur Adventure Land
Dinosaur Adventure Land in Lenox Alabama is the physical manifestation of the ministry message that Kent regularly repeats with minor variations on his Youtube channel:
We are the ones who believe the Bible to be true. God did it all in six days. Dinosaurs have lived with humans throughout history. We believe that the “theory of evolution” is the most dangerous religious cult in the history of the world.
I visited DAL in 2019 and found it to be quite nice.
What I haven’t been able to fully appreciate from a day of visiting is that DAL, which is pretty much run entirely by volunteers, is kind of an intentional community. When people come together to serve a higher purpose and live together 24/7, they can get angry at each other. As Abigal Megginson noted during her visit in 2018, “It’s not just rainbows and dinosaurs.” Intentional communities that last a very long time are quite rare.
Mary Tocco was Kent’s second wife. He married her about a year after she was released 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 has invited everyone and attracts former addicts and active drug addicts, homeless wanderers in the mix of good Christians who seek purpose and have found his ministry. Good Christians arrive full of hope and leave very disappointed, I know dozens of them who could tell you that I am being honest.
As with his three post-liberation marriages, Kent’s marriage to Mary Tocco was a religious ceremony without a state marriage license. This creates a special situation as Alabama recognized common law marriages until 2017. Thus, under Alabama law, Hovind is not and was not married to Cindi Lincoln and her recent marries Sandra Princess Sawyer. It can be said that he is still married to Mary Tocco, as the dissolution of a de facto marriage requires a formal divorce.
There wasn’t as much fanfare when Kent Hovind married Cindi Lincoln. He didn’t even notice an ad on Youtube like his marriage to Sandra Princess Sawyer last month did.
The financial dispute
Prior to filing the domestic violence complaint, Cindi Lincoln was engaged in a financial dispute with Hovind and the ministry. It’s a bit convoluted.
Cindi owned a house in California that she rented for an income. She sold it and wanted to replace the income with a rental property in Alabama. She told me that she adopted the idea of rental property as a solid source of reliable income from her father. She sold the California property and acquired at least one local rental property. She also donated approximately $ 100,000 to the department. According to Ernie Land, she gave by buying things, some of which were useful to the ministry and others not.
When it comes to real estate, California is different from Alabama. Cindi was going to buy several properties to replace the income from the California property. She already had $ 700 per month and needed an additional $ 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 of the reasons could be that it’s more than double what an insurance company would pay him, but it didn’t seem to get into that much thought.
It gets confusing and contradictory from here on out, but a deal was made that gave him $ 1,300 a month for twenty years. Only it was not with the ministry, it was with the S Corporation. And the deal doesn’t mention the $ 133,000 Cindi would put into the ministry (by paying for things rather than transferring money, which also creates some uncertainty). Instead, the agreement states that it is:
To contract the support of the wife of Dr Kent Hovind and to incorporate such support into her intellectual property rights contract.
Difficult to plead
Thus, the CSE (The S Corporation) agrees to pay the money he owes Kent Hovind to Kent Hovind’s spouse, Hovind not having signed the agreement. And was Hovind’s wife’s consideration at the CSE? This is the question of the review. Remember, CSEM is what Cindi supports
In any case, after Cindi left DAL, the monthly payments ceased. The reasoning is that she is no longer Kent’s wife. If you’re willing to sacrifice an hour of life that you will never get back, you can follow a discussion of this top issue that Atheist Jr. provided to his viewers.
I think it would have been extremely expensive and impractical to argue this issue. Still, I think it would have been really smart to have refunded the money to him. This is what I attribute to Hovind’s stubbornness.
The Body Slam Trial
To be fair to Kent Hovind, it’s important to point out that Cindi herself indicates that the altercation in question was the only time Kent Hovind physically injured her. That’s why she hesitated to report it.
I have asked Kent Hovind since October on several occasions to please pay half of my medical bills; that I would take half the blame because I was yelling at him and yelling at him; but if he would help me pay half and confess the truth at least to me as husband and wife; he kept lying and saying that he had never slammed my body, that I had tripped on the mat.
I knew he was a public figure; and that was the only time he had ever hurt me physically; and so I was going to protect my husband. All I wanted was for him to tell me the truth between him and me only and help me pay the medical bill. He refused to do either and went public on campus and on YouTube telling everyone that I was lying and had to pay all the medical bills myself.
Hovind’s defense is that he adopted a practice of recording his conversations with Cindi. He has over 600 recordings that he threatens to post on the Internet. In the incident tried in court, he maintains that Cindi was trying to grab the phone and he was trying to prevent it and that she fell. You can’t rule out the two of them being true on this point in my mind. Nonetheless, Judge Hyde has found Hovind guilty and sentenced him to one year in prison, of which he will have to serve thirty days if the sentence is upheld.
I must say that over 600 recorded conversations scare me.
There is a motion for a new trial. Ernie Land indicated to me that they would seek a jury trial. I was not able to identify all the procedural issues. Two Alabama attorneys I spoke with indicated that the sentence was rather harsh for a first conviction for third degree domestic assault.
Kent Hovind’s 2015 trial turned into something of a right-wing media circus. It will be interesting to see what happens with this one.
Cindi Lincoln’s Youtube channel has been focused on the issues surrounding their dispute lately.
Kent Hovind’s channel covers issues from time to time. He devotes a good part of his time to it from 5:00 p.m. in this Dr Kent Hovind: Matthew 24 – The Future.
Hemant Mehta a Creationist Kent Hovind sentenced to 30 days in prison for domestic violence to Sympathetic atheist.
James Ashley has Kent Hovind, who is a friend of Jim Bob Duggar arrested for domestic violence in the Bulletin hour.
Then there is the Facebook site Kent Hovind’s Worst Nightmare if you really want to dig. While there are now other directors and plenty of people contributing, KHWN is the inspiration for Robet Baty, one of the few reviewers Kent will mention by name. Baty is a repeat IRS appeals agent and Hovind insists he was called out of retirement by the IRS specifically for “Get Hovnd.”