*(Via AJC.com ) – The Rev. Arthur Allen, known for his run-ins with the law because he oversaw and ordered floggings of misbehaving children during worship at the House of Prayer, died in a house fire Monday.
Allen was identified by the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. Atlanta Fire Department officials say there is an ongoing investigation into the fire.
Allen was convicted in 2002 of cruelty to children. He served two years in prison before his release in 2005. Prior to his incarceration, he was on the run for five months before he was caught in Cobb County in August 2003.
A criminal investigation into Allen and the practices of the House of Prayer began in 2001 when two boys showed up at school with welts and bruises. Social workers took the boys from their parents and soon seized 47 other House of Prayer children and put them in foster care and group homes. Police arrested Allen and other church members.
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