3 Accused in Church Child Abuse Case

ATLANTA (AP) -- Three more men have been arrested for allegedly participating in the church-sanctioned beatings of children at the non-denominational House of Prayer.

Rev. Arthur Allen Jr., 68, and six church members were charged with cruelty to children last month after two boys -- ages 7 and 10 -- displayed welts and other wounds to school teachers. The children told police they were beaten under Allen's direction with belts or switches while adults held their arms and legs.

Police identified the men arrested Wednesday as Eddie Barry Barnett Jr., 24; Charles Ogletree, 29; and Michael Oglesby, 26.

Authorities have removed 41 children from the homes of five church families, saying they were at risk of being abused.

Allen has defended the practices of his 130-member congregation, saying the Bible calls for corporal punishment to discipline children.