Acton Bowen facing new sex charge in Bay County, Florida
The list of sexual abuse accusations against evangelist Acton Bowen has crossed state lines. Bowen was charged with lewd or lascivious battery in Bay County, Florida according to the local sheriff's office.
The charge was filed on May 23rd. According to Florida state law, a person commits lewd or lascivious battery by engaging in sexual activity with a person 12 years of age or older but less than 16 years of age or encouraging, forcing, or enticing any person less than 16 years of age to engage in sexual activity.
The news confirmed statements made in court by prosecutors back in April. "Many more charges" were expected to be filed against Acton Bowen said Etowah County Deputy District Attorney Carol Griffith at the time.
Prosecutors told a judge at the time that more potential victims had been discovered in Orange Beach, Alabama and across state lines in Florida and Colorado. The FBI had become involved into the investigation prosecutors revealed.
Bowen remained in the Etowah County Jail on Friday. He was being held on a $1.06 million bond. A hold was placed on Bowen for the new charge in Florida in case he made bond. Bowen's attorney has appealed to the Alabama Criminal Court of Appeals to have his bond in Etowah County reduced.
Seven people in Alabama claim they were sexually abused by the well known Alabama pastor. A Jefferson County grand jury indicted Bowen on at least two of three sex charges related to testimony from a boy between 12 and 16-years-old. Hoover Police described the boy as a family acquaintance. The alleged victims claim the pastor sexually abused them for months or years in complaints which date back from 2006 to as recently as April.
It remained unclear Friday whether the charge in Florida was based off testimony from one of the six people claiming abuse or a new person claiming to be a victim.
Bowen had worked as a youth minister nearly a decade ago at the CrossPoint Community Church before it closed. There he worked closely with students from Coosa Christian School where he also graduated. In an exclusive interview with ABC 33/40 News, Bowen said his son spent much of his adult life mentoring young children,
"Parents encourage their children to be in Acton's presence and Acton's guidance and Acton's ministry because Acton has a passion for what he does and it's a God-given gift."
"Acton Bowen is a danger to every child in this community," said District Attorney Jody Willoughby.
Bowen, a well known pastor and evangelist, is the founder of Acton Bowen Outreach Ministries. The Southside resident has served as a contributor on Fox News and has been reported to have served as a spiritual mentor to Hollywood celebrities including Justin Bieber. His defense attorneys admitted Tuesday that Bowen's career in ministry is likely over regardless of the verdict.