Judge denies bond reduction for child porn suspect

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies escort inmate Dr. Ruepert Don Bryan into a patrol car for transport back to the Shelby County Jail after a June 22 hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies escort inmate Dr. Ruepert Don Bryan into a patrol car for transport back to the Shelby County Jail after a June 22 hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse. (Reporter Photo/Neal Wagner)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County District Court judge has denied a bond reduction request for an 80-year-old former Alabaster physician who is facing multiple child pornography and sexual abuse charges.

Bryan

Bryan

Dr. Ruepert Don Bryan appeared in Shelby County District Court on June 22 for a bond reduction hearing in front of Judge Daniel Crowson Jr. The hearing came as the result of a June 8 bond reduction request from Bryan’s attorney.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bryan, who lists an address on Kensington Manor Drive in Calera, on June 3 and charged him three felony charges of producing obscene matter and one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse.

According to his arrest warrants, Bryan allegedly produced obscene matter of a person under the age of 17 including “breast nudity, sodomy, sexual abuse and other sexual conduct” on Jan. 1, 2002.

From Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2002, Bryan’s arrest warrants allege he produced more obscene matter containing similar content.

Bryan was brought into custody on June 3, one day after being identified as a person of interest in the case. On Thursday, June 2, the SCSO issued a request for the public’s help in identifying the man, and were able to locate him within a matter of hours of doing so.

Shelby County Sheriff John Samaniego previously said SCSO deputies learned of the alleged crimes after discovering video evidence of them.

Bryan, who previously worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor in Alabaster, has been held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling $500,000 since his arrest.

A few days after Bryan’s arrest, his attorney requested the $500,000 be reduced, claiming the bond “is in excess of the defendant or the defendant’s family’s capabilities.”

The bond reduction request also claimed Bryan does not have any previous arrests or convictions, has been a licensed physician in Alabama for more than 40 years and “is in poor health.”

Following a June 22 hearing on the matter, Crowson denied Bryan’s bond reduction request. After the hearing, Shelby County Sheriff’s Office escorted Bryan, who was in a wheelchair, into a waiting patrol car for transport back to the jail.

Bryan is now scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on July 13 at 8:30 a.m.