Popular TV Preacher Sentenced to 1000 Years in Prison
Televangelists and TV preachers have had a long history of abuse and scandal.
Over the last few decades, we’ve seen people like Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker indicted on federal charges and a sex scandal. Around the same time, you had Jimmy Swaggart who was defrocked after a sex scandal involving prostitutes.
There was Teg Haggard who paid a gay escort for drugs and sex. He was ultimately fired for sexually immoral conduct.
Bishop Eddie Long was the pastor of a megachurch in Atlanta, Georgia before he was accused of enticing teenage male members of the church to perform sexual acts with him using the riches he made from the church. Also, Atlanta based pastor Creflo Dollar was arrested for choking his daughter.
Now, popular Alabama televangelist Acton Bowen was tried, convicted, and sentenced to 1,008 years in prison for 28 charges of raping and sexually assaulting children. He was also ordered to pay nearly $1 million in fines.
According to AL.com,
Bowen, 39, entered guilty pleas earlier this month in Etowah County to 28 counts of sexual abuse involving six male victims between the ages of 13 and 16. The charges included enticing a child for a sexual act, sodomy, traveling to meet a child for a sexual act and sexual abuse.
Circuit Judge Debra Jones presided over the case after several Etowah County judges recused themselves. Bowen’s ex-wife is the daughter of an Etowah County judge.
Moments before being sentenced, Bowen, standing in shackles, looked out on a packed courtroom and apologized in a trembling voice, both to his own family and the victims, for years of sexual abuse. “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.”
Family members and victims wept as Jones slowly read out the maximum sentence and fine on every count. Each sentence is to run consecutively – rather than concurrent.