Pell City man pleads guilty to sexual abuse

by David Atchison

The Daily Home

Talladega, AL

August 9, 2010

PELL CITY — A man who was employed by a local church pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse.

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 on supervised probation. He is expected to report to the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department Aug. 23 to begin serving his six-month 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 Eden Westside Baptist prior to his indictment by a St. Clair County grand jury early this year.

Officials say they were notified Dec. 4, 2009, of allegations of possible wrong-doing by Bowman.

If Bowman had been convicted of second-degree sodomy, he could have faced 2-20 years in prison.

Contact David Atchison at

SBP Note: Eden Westside Baptist Church in Pell City, Alabama, is shown as an SBC-affiliated church.