HOOVER, Ala. –
An Alabama evangelist, public speaker and author was arrested Tuesday, accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy.
Paul Edward Acton Bowen, 37, of Southside, was booked on charges of sodomy, sexual abuse and enticing a child for immoral purposes, according to Jefferson County Jail records. He was released early Wednesday morning on $90,300 bail.
AL.com reported that an investigation into Bowen by the Hoover Police Department began about three weeks ago. An arrest warrant was issued on Monday.
The victim in the case is a family acquaintance between the ages of 13 and 15.
“This is certainly one of the more disturbing cases that we’ve investigated in quite some time,” Hoover police Capt. Gregg Rector told AL.com. “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.”
Details of the allegations were not made public.
Bowen is the founder of Acton Bowen Outreach. The ministry’s website — which was temporarily removed by 9 a.m. Wednesday — described Bowen as a cohost of Top3 on the Juce TV Network and a regular contributor on Fox News, where he said he serves as a faith and religion correspondent.
Fox News issued a statement refuting that claim Wednesday afternoon.
“Paul Edward Acton Brown is not, and has never been an employee, correspondent or contributor at Fox News,” the network said in an email.
Juce TV’s website does not list Bowen as a cohost of Top 3, which is now known as The Crew.
Much of Bowen’s ministry appears aimed at youth. His website stated that, for 12 years, he led a citywide student Bible study in his hometown of Gadsden.
He is also the author of “Moment: A 21-Day Journey for Students” and “Escape the Noise: A 30-Day Devotional Journey for Students.”
As a public speaker, Bowen speaks up to 20 times a month in churches, camps, conferences, school assemblies and more, his website said.
The Gadsden Times reported in 2012 that Bowen, who spent seven years on staff at a church there before starting his ministry, was headed to London to be a chaplain at the Summer Olympics.
The veracity of that claim could not immediately be confirmed.