exposing the dark side of adoption
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Former minister accused of kidnapping, rape back in jail


Oak Ridger, The (TN)

BLOUNTVILLE (AP) -- A former Bristol minister accused of kidnapping, abuse and rape is back in jail.

Joseph Combs had been released in May after posting $150,000 bail, but he was arrested and jailed again Monday after a violation of a bond agreement, according to court records.

Workers at Central Bail Bonds refused to comment Wednesday. The company had posted $26,300 and the rest was raised through liens against friends' property.

Combs and his wife Evangeline are accused of taking a 4-month-old girl from an Indiana children's home 20 years ago under the pretense of adopting her. But they never completed the process and made the girl the family "slave," authorities say. Joseph Combs also is accused of raping her for years.

The allegations came to light in 1997 after the girl was hospitalized for a suicide attempt, and doctors found scar tissue over her body. The girl has since changed her name and lives in another state.

The Combses' trial has been set for early next year. Mrs. Combs was released in March after posting $100,000 bail, which was put up in full by Central Bail Bonds.

1999 Jul 14