The Alabama Supreme Court decided on Thursday that they would not review the case of former youth pastor Acton Bowen, who is currently serving a 1,008-year prison term.
Bowen pleaded guilty on 20th January to 28 charges of sexually assaulting young boys while in ministry. The assaults occurred between 2006 and 2018, according to a local outlet. Bowen tended to offer the boys opportunities to join him on trips and buy them clothing before taking them somewhere privately. The former pastor had previously served as a youth minister of CrossPoint Community Church in Gadsden, Alabama, and on staff at Christ City Church in Birmingham, Alabama. Bowen also operated a local outreach ministry that included regular preaching opportunities and their own television program.
Bowen had also made several significant claims to fame, including being a spiritual advisor to Justin Bieber. He also acted as a chaplain at the 2012 London Olympics.
Bowen’s actions were not sudden. He had been previously placed under surveillance while at work after getting caught watching pornography.
In a testimony released in 2019, Bowen claimed mental illness as the reason for his illicit conduct. He even went as far as to claim before the judge that “My heart has never wanted to hurt anyone, but my mind is not well.”