ETOWAH COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - A filing from the Etowah County District Attorney’s Office alleges evangelist Paul Action Bowen has been contacting at least one of his alleged victims from the Etowah County Jail.
Bowen, 39, has been held without bond at the Etowah County Detention Center since his arrest in April 2018 on multiple indictments of second-degree sodomy, sexual abuse, enticing a child to commit a sexual act, and other charges. He also has a hold from other agencies, including Jefferson County.
A filing from Etowah County Deputy District Attorney Carol Griffith says Bowen has emailed or texted one of his alleged victims, who is between the ages of 13-16. The court filing claims Bowen appears to be trying to influence the victim’s feelings and even the victim’s testimony.
“The contents of the messages clearly indicate an intent to influence the victim’s feelings, and potentially his testimony, regarding these cases and the defendant, and to discourage the victim from cooperating with prosecution of this case,” Griffith stated in the court filing.
The court filing says Bowen sent the person eight messages between February 10 and April 2 of this year.
The filing says records at the Etowah County Detention Center verify this, and messages indicate Bowen has reached out to other victims as well.
The filing seeks to get a court order requiring the jail staff to limit Bowen's access to varying methods of communication with the victims.
“The state contends that all crime victims should be protected from harassment or intimidation by a defendant pending trial, no matter what the charges are, but even more so in cases involving physical or sexual abuse of a child. The only way to ensure that the Defendant cannot continue to contact the victims in these cases is to order the ECDC to limit his ability to communicate with persons outside the Etowah County Detention Center where he remains in custody. The undersigned has been assured by jail administrators that upon Order of the Court, Defendant’s access to email, text messages, and telephone can be limited,” says the filing.
The filing was made in Etowah County Circuit Court last Friday. Circuit Judge Sonny Steen has yet to rule on it.