HOOVER, Ala. – An Alabama youth evangelist has been arrested on child sex charges.
Media outlets report that police in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover arrested Paul Edward Acton Bowen, 37, of Southside on multiple charges involving a boy between the ages of 12 and 16.
Police Capt. Gregg Rector calls the case "disturbing" because of the man's position with Acton Bowen Outreach. Bowen is a public speaker who has written three books for sale online.
Records show Bowen was freed on bond early Wednesday.
Court records don't list an attorney for Bowen, and no one responded to a message sent to a phone number listed for him on a court docket.
Bowen is charged with offenses including second-degree sodomy and second-degree sex abuse. Rector said the victim is a family acquaintance.
Al.com reports Bowen denied the allegations in a statement issued late Wednesday.
"I have not done what I am accused of and have not acted inappropriately in any way," Bowen said. "My family and I trust the legal system and the people who are entrusted with the duty of protecting each of our rights. I believe the truth will stand and I will be vindicated of this false accusation. We ask that each of you keep everyone involved in this process in your prayers."
In his statement, Bowen thanked "the countless number of people who have prayed for his family."
"I'm also thankful for the countless calls of support from those who have walked a lot of life with me and know me best," he said. "Your steadfast, unshakable support gives me strength. For almost 20 years (since I was 18) my life has been committed to serving Jesus by serving people."
"When this accusation was made known to me I was hurt, confused, and heartbroken," he said.
Information from: The Birmingham News, http://www.al.com/birminghamnews