Former doctor indicted on child porn charges

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies escort inmate Dr. Ruepert Don Bryan into a patrol car for transport back to the Shelby County Jail following a June 22 hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse. Bryan has been indicted on child porn and sexual abuse charges. (File)

Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies escort inmate Dr. Ruepert Don Bryan into a patrol car for transport back to the Shelby County Jail following a June 22 hearing at the Shelby County Courthouse. Bryan has been indicted on child porn and sexual abuse charges. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County grand jury has returned a four-count indictment against an 81-year-old former Alabaster doctor, upholding charges of producing child pornography and sexual abuse against him.

On Sept. 22, the grand jury indicted Ruepert Don Bryan, who lists an address on Kensington Manor Drive in Calera, on three felony counts of producing child pornography and one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office arrested Bryan on June 3 and charged him with three felony charges of producing obscene matter and one felony count of first-degree sexual abuse.

Bryan faces up to life in prison if he is convicted on the production of child pornography charges, and faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted of the sexual abuse charge.

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.

Circuit Court Judge Daniel Crowson previously denied a request to reduce Bryan’s bond. In the request, Bryan’s attorney claimed the bond was “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 bond reduction request, 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 set to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court on Nov. 7 for arraignment.