March 5, 2006 - Posted at 12:54 p.m. CST
LITTLE ROCK (AP) _ A North Little Rock minister has been
sentenced to five years in prison after a judge found the minister
violated his probation on theft and forgery convictions by sexually
assaulting two women.
The Reverend J. T. Talbert pleaded guilty in 2000 to the forgery
and theft charges, received five years probation and was ordered to
pay a 500 dollar fine. The charges stemmed from accusations that he
used a church-based self-improvement program as a front to scam
money from criminal defendants who used the program.
Then last August, Talbert was convicted of sexually assaulting
an Alabama woman and a North Little Rock woman and was sentenced to
a total of 40 years in prison. After that, prosecutors sought
revocation of Talbert's probation from the previous convictions.
Last week, the 54-year-old Talbert, who has been free on bond
while he appeals his August convictions, asked Pulaski County
Circuit Judge John Langston for mercy, saying he was too sick to be
incarcerated. He did not elaborate.
The judge, instead, sentenced Talbert and ordered him taken into