Child porn suspect again seeks lower bond

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – An elderly former Alabaster doctor who is facing multiple charges of producing child pornography and sexual abuse has again asked a judge to lower his bond, a few months after his first request for a bond reduction was denied.

On Dec. 8, an attorney for 81-year-old Calera resident Ruepert Don Bryan requested Circuit Court Judge Lara Alvis lower Bryan’s bond from its current total of $500,000.

“Your defendant’s total bond amount is currently in the amount of $500,000, which is in excess of what the defendant and the defendant’s family is capable of posting to obtain release on the defendant,” read the request.

The request claims Bryan is a long-term resident of Shelby County and does not have any previous felony or misdemeanor convictions and urges Alvis to consider Bryan’s age and background, reputation, previous criminal record, whether the offense was violent and other factors.

Bryan’s most recent request for a lower bond came about six months after District Court Judge Daniel Crowson denied a similar request from Bryan’s attorneys. Bryan, who previously worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor in Alabaster, has remained in the Shelby County Jail since his June 3 arrest by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.

In late September, a Shelby County grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Bryan, upholding three felony counts of producing child pornography 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.

As of Dec. 8, Bryan did not have any future court dates listed in Shelby County Circuit Court.