Mobile, Al. Assistant District Attorney, Asheley Rich, said, “The (victim) stated when he first had sexual contact with her he explained that it was normal and described to her and told her in detail the story of Lot from the Bible.” Clinical psychologist, Michael Rosenbaum, says that it is characteristic of a sexual predator to manipulate their victims, and that Mr. Hopkins also abused his faith to get his way. “He obviously used that story and arbitrarily interpreted it, as a way to influence his daughter so that she would think his having sex with her was normal,” Rosenbaum said. He also states a predator will use whatever they can to influence a child.
Anthony Hopkins, age 37, a traveling minister in Mobile, Al., was arrested on 7/28/08 at a church in Jackson, Al. after preaching a revival sermon on “Forgiveness”. He was charged with murder, sexual abuse, rape, sodomy, and incest. He was turned in by his 19 year old daughter, the eldest of eight children, whom had fled the home and talked to police attached to the Child Advocacy Center. Her Father had been raping her since she was 11 years old.
Hopkins, his wife, and children had lived in Jackson, Al. in 2000 and 2001 before moving, saying there were resettling in New Orleans. Daniel Maharrey said he and his wife knew the Hopkins when they lived in Jackson, and had helped feed their children. He said: “He (Hopkins) was not a Preacher. He was a man that was going to use whoever for whatever gain he could get out of life.” He also said Hopkins had put out letters saying people would be cursed if they did not give him money.
While still living in Jackson, in 7/2001, Hopkins filed a domestic violence report against his wife, Arletha, claiming she attacked him while he was attempting to leave for work, calling her “belligerent” and claiming she scratched him. (This tactic of blaming the real victim and filing charges against them or setting them up to be arrested should sound familiar to many victims of psychopaths). He had already begun raping his daughter approximately one year prior to the DMV allegation.
In talking to police, the victim told them she had been having sex with her Father (for 8 years). When asked about her Mother, she said, “Momma? She’s in the freezer.” On approximately 11/04/04 Arletha Hopkins caught her husband abusing the daughter in the bathroom of their home. The daugher stated this led to an argument between her parents and the next morning her Father asked her to help hide her Mother’s body in the freezer. Police believe Hopkins strangled Arletha during the argument.
According to police, it turns out the freezer wasn’t the victims first grave. Hopkins first tried to hide the body in a wooded area in Semmes. According to a detective, Hopkins had his daughter watch as he dug the grave, then had her help lift her Mother’s body into the shallow grave. (now imagine the fear instilled in this daugher as to what would happen to her if she dared to go against her Father’s wishes). He later got worried someone would discover the body, so he dug up Arletha and brought her home and stuffed her in the freezer. She remained in the freezer for nearly four years.
At the time of the arrest, Hopkins and his children hadn’t been residing in Mobile for very long. But they brought the freezer along with them to their new residence. Hopkins neighbors said they didn’t know him well–just knew him as a “Reverend”, and that his children were allowed to frequently play in the yard, but were not allowed to play with other children on the street. A “missing person” report had never been filed on Arletha, and Hopkins told people his wife had died four years earlier while giving birth to their son.
Hopkins has pled “not guilty” to all charges.