Child porn suspect enters not guilty plea

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – An elderly suspect who has been charged with allegedly producing child pornography has pleaded not guilty to the charges, as his second request for a lower bond is still pending in Shelby County Circuit Court.

Ruepert Don Bryan, an 81-year-old former Alabaster doctor who now lists an address in Calera, entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect on Dec. 20, 2016, according to court documents.

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.

On Dec. 8, 2016, Bryan’s attorney requested the suspect’s bond be lowered from its current total of $500,000.

The request claims Bryan is a long-time 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.