Appeals Court Upholds Preacher's Sexual Abuse Conviction

Associated Press, carried in Times Daily [Alabama]
February 2, 2007

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the conviction and 23-year prison sentence of a Mobile County preacher in the sexual abuse of a father and son in incidents that occurred 20 years apart.

The appeals court upheld the conviction of the Rev. Dennis Lamar Fields, 53, who was pastor of Bethel Holiness Church in Irvington in south Mobile County at the time of his arrest in 2005. The court's opinion was not released to the public because it contained the names of minor sexual abuse victims.

The appeals court Friday, without comment, declined to rehear the case of Fields, who is currently among Alabama inmates incarcerated at a private prison in Louisiana.

Fields was convicted last year after a man testified that Fields took lewd photos of him when he was a 9-year-old child. The man testified that he called police 20 years later when his own 9-year-old son revealed that Fields had begun molesting him.

Two other men - one of them a defense witness - also provided testimony indicating Fields had sexually exploited them when they were boys.


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