Child sex abuse suspect pleads not guilty
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
COLUMBIANA – A 36-year-old Alabaster man who is facing charges alleging he electronically solicited and sexually abused an underage victim has entered pleas of not guilty to the charges against him, and is now set to appear in Shelby County Circuit Court on July 16.
Jeremy Douglas Loper, who lists an address on Park Forest Lane in Alabaster, entered the not guilty pleas to Circuit Court Judge William Bostick on May 14. The Alabaster Police Department arrested Loper on July 21 and charged him with one felony count of electronic solicitation of a child and a misdemeanor count of second-degree sexual abuse.
Electronic solicitation of a child is a Class B felony, and is punishable by up to 20 years in prison upon conviction.
According to Alabaster Police Chief Curtis Rigney, the department launched an investigation into Loper after a parent contacted APD and claimed her daughter had been assaulted by the suspect.
Rigney said as the investigation progressed, “disturbing evidence was uncovered” leading to the charges against Loper.
According to his arrest warrants, Loper allegedly solicited a minor via electronic means to meet with him for sexual purposes on June 24, and allegedly subjected the victim who was between 12 and 16 to sexual contact on the same day.
Loper was released from the Shelby County Jail the same day he was arrested after posting bonds totaling $35,000.
After entering his plea of not guilty, Loper submitted a request for the court to allow him to travel to Utah from May 19-22 to attend his son’s high school graduation, which was approved.