21-year-old receives second charge of child sex abuse

COLUMBIANA – A North Shelby County man has been charged with felony sexual abuse of a child less than 12 years old for the second time in as many years.


John Knox Sanders, 21, who lists an address off Petal Fall Drive in Birmingham, was arrested on Aug. 8 by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, according to court records.

The warrant for Sanders’ arrest claims that the suspect subjected someone who is less than 12 years old to sexual contact in June.

Bond was set at the recommended amount of $200,000.

The bond recommendation form cites that a conviction would carry a minimum 10-year prison sentence, a previous charge of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 in 2015, and the defendant’s bond being revoked based on new criminal charges related to illegal drugs.

“Given the nature of the charged offenses, the probability of a conviction, and the likely sentence faced, the defendant poses a danger to the public at large and to himself and also poses a risk of nonappearance should the bond not be set as requested,” the bond recommendation reads.

As of Tuesday, Aug. 8, Sanders was being held at the Shelby County Jail.

The drug charge, use/possession of drug paraphernalia, was dismissed after Sanders entered the Tuscaloosa County District Court Statutory Diversion Program.

In the previous case of sex abuse against Sanders, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of harassment in November 2016.

Sanders was ordered to serve 90 days in prison, and since he had already served 245 days leading up to the sentence, Sanders was released.

The preliminary hearing for the new charge of sexual abuse of a child less than 12 is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 30 with Shelby County District Judge Daniel A. Crowson Jr. presiding.