In accordance with a plea agreement reached with the state, the second-degree felony sodomy charge against Gregory “Lee” Bowman, 30, of Pell City was dropped, and the defendant pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual abuse, a misdemeanor.
Bowman, who was employed by the Eden Westside Baptist Church as the health and wellness minister overseeing both adult and youth recreation programs, was sentenced by St. Clair County Circuit Court Judge Jim Hill.
In accordance with the agreement reached Monday, Hill sentenced Bowman to serve a 12-month split sentence, meaning he will actually serve six months in the St. Clair County Jail.
Bowman is also required to serve 24 months of supervised probation. He is expected to report to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Aug. 23 to begin serving his jail sentence.
Assistant District Attorney Lamar Williamson said in court Monday that the evidence would have shown that while working for a local church, Bowman met a 14-year-old juvenile.
Williamson said Bowman took the juvenile to his residence, where he subjected the minor to sexual contact.
District Attorney Richard Minor said shortly after Bowman’s indictment that authorities had no reason to believe that any of the allegations contained in the indictment occurred on any church property.
Bowman resigned from his job at the church before his indictment by a St. Clair County grand jury early this year.
Officials said they were notified Dec. 4, 2009, of allegations of Bowman’s possible wrong-doing.
If Bowman had been convicted of second-degree sodomy, he could have faced two to 20 years in prison.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.