Atmore man arrested twice for sexual abuse, torture of youngsters
By DON FLETCHER
News Staff Writer
Note: The following article includes details, some graphic, of sexual crimes committed against children and might be disturbing or offensive to some readers.
An 18-year-old Atmore man, already out on bond for the alleged sexual abuse of one child under the age of 12, is behind bars again, charged with similar crimes against another child, also under the age of 12.
Atmore Police Chief Chuck Brooks confirmed late last week that Abraham L. Banks, of a Maplewood Drive address, was arrested most recently by APD detectives on March 1 and charged with two counts of first-degree sodomy of a child under the age of 12 years and one count of sodomy by forcible compulsion of a child under the age of 12 years.
When those charges were filed, Banks — a 2018 graduate of Escambia County High School — was already free on a $500,000 bond from his December arrest on two counts of first-degree sodomy of a child under 12 and one count of sexual torture of a child.
“He was arrested the first time for first-degree sodomy and sexual torture,” Brooks said. “He bonded out on that, then we arrested him again for first-degree sodomy and sodomy by compulsion. Both victims were children.”
According to copies provided upon request by Escambia County Clerk of Court John Robert Fountain, the criminal complaints filed in December against Banks charged that Banks “engaged in deviant sexual intercourse” with the child over a period of more than 15 months, between August 30, 2017 and December 3, 2018.
That arrest was reportedly the result of the child victim finally telling a parent about the abuse. The parent contacted DHR officials, who notified police and Escambia County Child Advocacy. A joint investigation into the child’s claims determined there was probable cause for an arrest warrant.
The investigation continued after Banks was behind bars, and one of the criminal complaints filed against him March 1 indicates that he had tortured the second victim by using “an inanimate object, to wit: a Spiderman figure,” to penetrate the youngster’s body.
Alabama Code 13A-006-063, provides that first-degree sodomy is a Class A felony, punishable upon conviction by a prison term of “no less than 10 years and no more than life or 99 years.” At a judge’s discretion, a person convicted of a Class A felony may also be fined any amount up to $60,000.
Under Alabama Code 26-15-3, torture or willful abuse (by an adult) of a child under 18 years of age is a Class C felony, which carries upon conviction a prison sentence of “no less than one year and one day, and no more than 10 years.” A fine of up to $15,000 may also be assessed upon conviction.
An employee of the Escambia County Detention Center’s booking and release division reported this week that Banks remained in the county lockup. His bond on the first case has reportedly been revoked, and his bond on the latest charges has been set at $750,000.
Brooks would neither confirm nor deny the possibility that Banks had also engaged in sex acts with other children.
“It’s still under investigation,” the police chief said. “We’ll follow the case where it leads us.”