Prosecutors: Alabama pastor serving 1,000-year sex crime sentence tried to contact victims on Christmas Eve

Published 3:48 pm Thursday, January 2, 2020

A former Alabama youth pastor who was sentenced to more than 1,000 years in prison for sex crimes against children apparently was trying to contact one or more of his victims on Christmas Eve.

Paul Edward Acton Bowen, 39, was sentenced last month after he pleaded guilty to 28 sex crime charges involving half a dozen boys between the ages of 13 and 16.

The judge sentenced him to 1,008 years in state prison.

On Dec. 27, Bowen’s defense attorney asked the court to remove previously placed restrictions on Bowen’s communications. The prosecution answered that motion by telling the court that since the Dec. 20 sentencing, Bowen had attempted to contact one or more of the victim’s on Dec. 24, by use of the jail’s video visitation system.

The victims reported the communication attempts to the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office. Bowen may face additional charges for attempting to contact the victims.

Bowen faced charges that include sexual abuse, sodomy, enticing a child for sex and traveling to meet a child for sexual abuse. He still faces other charges in the Birmingham area.

At his sentencing, he apologized to his own family and victims in the courtroom.

“My heart was never wanting to hurt anybody but my mind was not well.”

Bowen was a Christian minister who wrote books, ran his own youth ministry and traveled to speak at youth events.