Bond reduction again denied for child porn suspect

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – A Shelby County Circuit Court judge has denied for the second time a bond reduction request from an elderly former Alabaster doctor who is facing allegations he produced child pornography.

On April 11, Circuit Court Judge Hewitt Conwill denied the bond reduction request for 81-year-old Calera resident Ruepert Don Bryan, who previously entered pleas of not guilty and not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect to three counts of production of child pornography and one count of sexual abuse.

In late September 2016, 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.

In mid-2016, Bryan, who previously worked as an ear, nose and throat doctor in Alabaster, requested his bond be lowered from its current total of $500,000 – A request denied by Shelby County District Court Judge Daniel Crowson.

In December 2016, Bryan again requested a lower bond, claiming he is a long-time resident of Shelby County and does not have any previous felony or misdemeanor convictions. Bryan urged the judge to consider his age and background, reputation, previous criminal record, whether the offense was violent and other factors.

Because Bryan’s his bond was not lowered, he has remained in the Shelby County Jail since his June 3 arrest by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.