Evangelist Gets Over 1,000 Years In Prison For Child Sex Abuse Charges

Paul Acton Bowen (mugshot)

Yet another religious hypocrite has been found to be a sexual predator.

Alabama evangelist Paul Acton Bowen has been sentenced to 1,008 years in prison after pleading guilty to 28 counts of sexual abuse involving six male victims whose ages range from 13 to 16.

Bowen was originally arrested in April 2018 and charged with second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree sex abuse of a male minor under the age of 16. Further investigation led authorities to the additional victims.

The sentence is the maximum allowed on all counts and is ordered to run consecutively, not concurrently. Bowen was also ordered to pay $840,000 in fines for all counts, also the maximum.

Standing in shackles, Bowen addressed the Etowah County court before being sentenced apologizing to his victims and his own family.

“The shame and guilt I feel is overwhelming and has been for a long time,” he said. “My heart was never wanting to hurt anybody but my mind was not well.”

AL.com reports the 39-year-old “served for 12 years in a local church, led a citywide student Bible study in Gadsden and was also the host of xlroads TV, a worldwide broadcast viewed weekly by millions of teens and adults in every city in America and more than 170 countries around the world.”

The victims told investigators they met Bowen through his ministry, and the abuse lasted months, sometimes years.

District Attorney Jody Willoughby read the impact letter of one of the victims who wrote he initially saw Bowen as a “cool guy” who gave him money and took him on trips. But the teen developed a drinking problem that led to blackouts as he tried to cope with the shame of abuse and now sees himself now as “damaged goods.”

A second victim wrote that Bowen “did his best to ruin the lives of other young men.”

A third victim intended to testify in court, but became so overwhelmed with emotion he changed his mind.

Bowen’s attorney John Floyd told the court that his client acted out after being sexually molested himself as a boy.

In addition to his time in prison, Bowen faces another trial in Jefferson County on three felony charges of traveling to meet a child for sex, enticing a child for a sexual act and sodomy. That trial is set for April 20, 2020.

The local NBC News affiliate WVTM reported on Bowen’s arrest back in 2018.

HBO Releases Trailer For Upcoming Michael Jackson Documentary ‘Leaving Neverland’

(promo image via HBO)

HBO has released the trailer for the upcoming Michael Jackson documentary, Leaving Neverland.

The two-part, four-hour documentary explores the separate (but similar) allegations of two men who were both befriended as children by Michael Jackson.

James Safechuck (who met Jackson when he was ten years old) and Wade Robson (who met the singer at age five) both allege they experienced numerous incidents of sexual abuse by Jackson.

In 2005, Robson testified in Jackson’s defense during the singer’s criminal trial saying he had stayed at the Neverland Ranch more than 20 times – usually sleeping in Jackson’s room – and Jackson never sexually abused him.

But in 2013, years after Jackson’s death, he changed his story and sued the Jackson estate for what he described as seven years of molestation. The judge in that case dismissed the lawsuit saying the estate “couldn’t be held responsible for Robson’s exposure to Jackson.”

Safechuck filed a complaint in 2016 alleging Jackson had sex with him “hundreds” of times when he was a boy. That case was also dismissed.

Directed by Dan Reed, the film features in-depth interviews with both men as well as family members.

According to The Guardian, the Jackson estate dispatched a ten-page letter to HBO’s CEO denying the allegations and denouncing Reed for not interviewing anyone from Jackson’s family or legal team.

Robson, who became a successful choreographer in the 2000s for acts like Britney Spears and *NSYNC, says in the trailer that Jackson “told me if they ever found out what we were doing, he and I would go to jail for the rest of our lives.”

“I want to be able to speak the truth as loud as I had to speak the lie for so long,” added Robson.

“Secrets will eat you up,” Safechuck tells the camera. “You feel so alone.”

The comments on the YouTube page for the trailer are overwhelmingly negative about the film and the allegations with the ‘Dislikes’ outweighing the ‘Likes’ 5 to 1.

Part one of Leaving Neverland airs Sunday, March 3, on HBO, with the second part following on Monday, March 4.

Watch the trailer below.

Minneapolis: Rabbi Pleads Guilty To Sexting With Underage Teen

Aryeh Leiv Cohen (mug shot)

A former Rabbi in Minnesota pleaded guilty last Friday to engaging in electronic communication describing sexual conduct with a child.

Aryeh Leiv Cohen thought he was exchanging messages with a 16-year-old boy on Grindr back in January, but in reality, he was chatting with an undercover cop.

According to court documents, the undercover agent told Cohen several times he wouldn’t turn 16-years-old until August, to which Cohen responded, “It’s a little illegal…” but would then go on to describe the sex acts he was hoping to engage in.

On February 1, a meeting was setup between the former rabbi and the ’16-year-old’ at an apartment building in North St. Paul.

Upon his arrest, the 44-year-old reportedly told the police, “I sort of deserve it.”

He also allegedly told the officers that he didn’t “think much would happen” when he arrived at the apartment because the person he believed he was meeting was ‘sexually inexperienced.’

The arrest was part of a sting operation aimed at combating the online solicitation of sex with minors. Several others were also arrested in conjunction with the undercover operation.

Cohen had been working as a rabbi and director of youth outreach for the Minneapolis Community Kollel, a Jewish learning center.

The center immediately issued a statement upon learning of his arrest that he’d been relieved of his duties.

Local ABC News affiliate KSTP reports that Cohen is scheduled to return to court for sentencing on January 16.

Oklahoma State Chair For Trump Campaign Sentenced To 15 Years In Prison For Child Sex Trafficking

Former Oklahoma state Sen. Shortey was sentenced today to 15 years in prison plus 10 years of supervision upon release from prison.
Ralph Shortey

You may recall the sad tale of former Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who was found in a room at a Motel 6 with a 17-year-old boy on March 9, 2017.

Police found through text messages that Shortey had offered the teen cash in exchange for “sexual stuff.” When police entered the hotel room it reeked of marijuana, according to police reports.

In November of last year, Shortey, who was the Oklahoma state chair for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, agreed to a guilty plea of child sex trafficking.

Text messages were found on Shortey’s phone between him and the underage teen that showed the boy needed money. Shortey apparently replied “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors dropped three other charges of child pornography that had been filed against him.

Had he faced all of the charges brought against him in court he could have spent close to the rest of his life in prison.

Shortey was sentenced today to 15 years in prison plus 10 years of supervision upon release from prison.

Shortey was infamous for introducing strange legislation like banning human fetuses in food products (that happens?) and, of course, voting for every piece of anti-LGBTQ legislation put before him.

He had been married to his high school sweetheart since 2002. She filed for divorce, and it was granted this past April.

Hypocrisy: Alabama Evangelical Youth Pastor Arrested On Child Sex Charges

Paul Edward Acton Bowen

Yet another evangelical hypocrite has been arrested on child sex charges. This time its an Alabama youth pastor.

From AL.com:

Paul Edward Acton Bowen, a 37-year-old Gadsden native who now lives in Etowah County’s Southside community, was taken into custody by Hoover police about 12:35 p.m.

The founder of Acton Bowen Outreach Ministries is charged with second-degree sodomy, enticing a child to enter a vehicle or house for immoral purposes, and second-degree sex abuse.

The victim was a young male, but police did not release his age except to say he is over 12 and under 16.

Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector said the department’s Special Victim’s Unit first launched an investigation three weeks ago. The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office issued the warrants on Monday.

“This is certainly one of the more disturbing cases that we’ve investigated in quite some time,” Rector said. “Mr. Bowen is in a highly-respected position of influence and he is trusted by many. We believe he betrayed that trust in the worst kind of way.”

Bowen was taken into custody in Pelham and transported to the Hoover City Jail. He was moved to the Jefferson County Jail where he was released early Wednesday on $90,300 bond.

Watch the local NBC affiliate’s report below.

Former Oklahoma “Family Values” State Senator Requests And Is Denied Release Pending Sentencing For Child Sex Trafficking

On Thursday, former Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who pleaded guilty to child sex trafficking in connection to meeting a 17-year-old boy at a motel for paid sexual favors, asked Judge Timothy Deguisti to release him pending sentencing.

According to police investigations, the teenager apparently needed money and offered sex acts in exchange for money. Shortey showed up with marijuana and condoms.

Shortey’s lawyer based the request for release predicated on Shortey not being a flight risk due to having a wife and his four children who are all homeschooled.

Judge Deguisti denied the request and had Shortey taken into custody.

Shortey, an anti-LGBT, “family values” Republican acted as Donald Trump’s Oklahoma state campaign chair during the 2016 presidential election.

(source)

Former OK State Sen. Ralph Shortey Agrees To Plea Deal For Child Sex Trafficking

Former Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey, who was the Oklahoma state chair for Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, has agreed to a guilty plea of child sex trafficking after being caught offering to pay a 17-year-old boy for sexual “stuff” last March.

Shortey was found in a Super 8 Motel room with the teenager on March 9. According to the investigating officers, when they entered the motel room it reeked of marijuana.

Text messages were found on Shortey’s phone between him and the underage teen that showed the boy needed money. Shortey apparently replied “I don’t really have any legitimate things I need help right now. Would you be interested in ‘sexual’ stuff?”

As part of the plea deal, prosecutors will drop three other charges of child pornography that has been filed against him.

With a jury trial date of December 5 looming, the former “family values” lawmaker was running short on time and options. Had he faced all of the charges brought against him in court he could have spent close to the rest of his life in prison.

He’ll be sentenced on November 30. The mandatory minimum sentence for sex trafficking is ten years.

Shortey, who was infamous for introducing strange legislation like banning human fetuses in food products (that happens?) has been married to his high school sweetheart since 2002.

(source)

Pastor Ken “Pulse Nightclub Gays Got What They Deserve” Adkins Arrested For Child Molestation

Pastor Ken Adkins, who earlier this summer tweeted that the folks killed in the Pulse Nightclub massacre got “what they deserve,” has been arrested this morning for child molestation.

From the local CBS affiliate:

A Georgia pastor and and conservative political activist was arrested Friday morning on charges of child molestation and aggravated child molestation.

Ken Adkins, 56, of St. Simons Island turned himself into police at about 9 a.m., according to officials with Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

GBI was requested on Aug. 12 to assist officials with the accusations against Adkins. Adkins is currently in the Glynn County Jail.

The investigation is ongoing. Adkins has one church with locations in Brunswick, Jacksonville and Atlanta, according to his website.

Adkins recently came under fire when he tweeted “homosexuals got what they deserved” after the deadly mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub. His Twitter account has been set to private.

Why is it always these super-religious zealots that end up being the child predators?

Watch the report below.

(image via JoeMyGod)

(h/t JoeMyGod)

Former GOP Speaker Of The House Dennis Hastert Admits To Sex Abuse, Sentenced to 15 Months In Prison

Former Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert was sentenced to 15 months in jail for bank fraud charges after admitting in court that he had sexually abused students during his tenure as a high school wrestling coach years ago.

From Huffington Post:

U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin sentenced Hastert to the jail time, followed by two years of supervised release, and issued him a $250,000 fine. The former speaker must also attend sex offender treatment and will not be allowed to contact his alleged victims, Durkin added.

The statute of limitations for the abuse allegations has lapsed, and the banking charges carry a maximum sentence of five years. The recommended sentence was zero to five months, and Hastert’s defense argued that the 74-year-old should be given probation due in part to his age and his failing health.

While looking into some large, unreported cash withdrawals Hastert had made, federal investigators learned the former speaker had been accused of abusing or having inappropriate sexual contact with at least five students while working as a high school teacher and wrestling coach some 40 years ago.

They determined that Hastert began structuring cash withdrawals to avoid bank reporting rules in 2010, and that he used the money to pay off an alleged victim known in court filings as “Individual A.”

Hastert said in court that he had “mistreated” his students and athletes.

“I’m deeply ashamed to be standing here today,” Hastert told the judge, adding that he is getting professional help.

An alleged victim previously known only as Individual D testified in court on Wednesday, and identified himself as 53-year-old Scott Cross.

“I respected and trusted Coach Hastert,” Cross said. “Coach Hastert sexually abused me in 1979, my senior year in high school.”

Cross described how Hastert offered to massage him after wrestling practice one day under the guise of helping him make weight. He said Hastert asked him to lie down, then removed his shorts and fondled his genitals.

“I always felt what Coach Hastert had done to me was my darkest secret,” said Cross, who was 17 when the alleged abuse took place.

Cross’ brother, Tom Cross, is one of Hastert’s longtime political allies.

As Speaker of the House, Hastert was second in line for the presidency.
Sadly ironic, before Hastert retired from politics, he ‘championed’ tough consequences for child molesters.

TLC To Revive “19 Kids & Counting” In Spite Of Scandalous History

Here’s some news you probably thought you’d never read.

TLC is reviving it’s once hit show “19 Kids & Counting” in spite of the Duggar family’s wide-spread scandals last year which included hiring prostitutes, infidelity and child molestation.

Via the Christian Post:

The stars of the series recently suffered through some scandals when it was revealed that Joshua Duggar took part in AshleyMadison.com, a website that serves as an online dating site for married men. With the family known as devout Christians, the news of Joshua’s infidelity led to the show’s cancellation.

According to Variety, the executive vice president of TLC, Nancy Daniels, recently shared some details about how the series coped with the scandals. She stated, “Every decision we’ve made has been done very thoughtfully and very carefully about what is in the best interests of the people involved and the network. Our first priority is making sure that there’s a health and well-being of our families first and foremost. We feature stories of different families with real people and real things happen.”

Fans are still interested in learning more about the rest of the family and how the scandal had affected them. With that, TLC released several episodes of “Jill & Jessa: Counting On,” which showed the sisters coping with the scandal’s aftermath.

After seeing the success of the short series, it was announced that TLC will be bringing back “19 Kids & Counting” to the small screen.

Throughout the show, the family was presented as the pristine, perfect “Christian” family. The picture was complete with episodes of campaigning against LGBT rights and what eventually was revealed to be hypocritical behavior.

Click here for more of my coverage of the Duggars.