On Monday morning, former evangelist Paul Acton Bowen pled guilty to 28 counts of sexual abuse.
Bowen, who was first arrested by Hoover Police in 2018, and was charged in both Jefferson and Etowah counties was facing a number of criminal charges, including enticing a child for sexual acts, sodomy, traveling to meet a child for sexual acts and sexual abuse – involving at least six different victims between the ages of 13 and 16.
Bowen, age 39, has remained jailed since then.
He is a native of Gadsden and founder of Acton Bowen Outreach Ministries. He served in an area church for 12 years, led a citywide student Bible study in Gadsden and according to news site AL.COM, was the host of a weekly TV series broadcast worldwide, viewed across the U.S. and more than 170 countries – seen by millions of teenagers and adults.
Bowen entered a blind plea to the Etowah County charges – meaning that he could face the maximum for each offense, including up to life in prison. Circuit Judge Debra Jones will set a hearing for sentencing at a later date.
Jones was hearing that case after several other Etowah County judges recused themselves from the case. Bowen’s ex-wife was the daughter of an Etowah County judge.
We’ll have more on this story as it continues to unfold.