Etowah Co. man back in jail for violating bond in child sex charges

Etowah Co. man violates bond in child sex charges

ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Bond has been revoked for an Etowah County man accused of multiple sex-related crimes.

Kerry Michael Stephenson, 31, was arrested last year by police in Southside, and eventually indicted for second degree sodomy, second degree sexual abuse and electronic solicitation of a child. He was later indicted for those counts in September, along with transmitting obscene material to a child and possession of child pornography. According to the indictment, the victim is between the ages of 12 and 16.

An order signed by Etowah County Circuit Judge Billy Ogletree ordered Stephenson to be picked up by law enforcement for violating conditions of his bond.

Stephenson had specifically been ordered to avoid being near children under the age of 19, or having access to a smartphone or the internet.

Ogletree's order said Stephenson had been around young people at Flow Church in Ashville, had been spotted using a church computer with internet access, had apparently used a smartphone, and more specifically SnapChat, and had been photographed and caught on surveillance video being around youth in the church.

Shane Bearden, the pastor of Flow Church, says the church's safety team that oversees new members had some concerns, and that may have led to Stephenson's bond being revoked.

“Through our rigorous protocols dealing with anyone that serves on a team, especially in the areas of student ministry and kids ministry, and through the diligence of our Safety Team, we were able to cooperate with law enforcement’s investigation and swiftly discover the conditions of his bond were being broken,” said Bearden.

Stephenson is being held without bond in the Etowah County Detention Center. No trial date has been set.

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