BY BRUCE BRANUM
The Greenville Standard
Butler County Juvenile Probation Officer, Terry Van Lewis, was indicted by a Butler County grand jury on Wednesday, March 13 for one charge of first-degree rape and two charges of first-degree sexual abuse from a period between 1994 to 1999. Lewis was hired in 1993.
Lewis surrendered himself at the Butler County Correction Facility Friday morning according to Butler County Sheriff Danny Bond. Lewis then shortly thereafter posted a $300,000 bond.
The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is not the lead the investigation unit. The case is being prosecuted by the Alabama Attorney General’s office.
A news release from the Alabama Attorney General’s office stated, “Attorney General Marshall’s Criminal Trials Division presented evidence to a Butler County grand jury on March 12 resulting in Lewis’ indictments on March 13.
“Specifically, one indictment charges that Lewis engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion, first-degree rape. The two remaining indictments charge that Lewis subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion.
“The victims in the cases were juveniles who were under his supervision at the time. The approximate dates of the alleged offenses range from 1994 until 1999.
“No further information about the investigation or about Lewis’ alleged crimes other than that stated in the indictment may be released at this time.
“If convicted, Lewis faces a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $60,000 fine for the first-degree rape charge, which is a class A felony. For each charge of first-degree sexual abuse, Lewis faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. First-degree sexual abuse is a class C felony.”
It is noted in the news release an indictment is merely an accusation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Bond also made a statement, which mirrored the presumed innocent statement of the Attorney General’s Office, saying, “Accusations were made and, as we say, they are innocent until proven guilty. So you have to wait and see how things turn out in the court system.”
Lewis, who is 63, resides in Montgomery.