Deatsville, AL

Former Sunday School Teacher Who Faces New Child Sex Abuse Charges Decades After Previous Conviction Has Bond Increased

A.W. Naves
Leon Albert Prince(Photo: Alabama Sex Offender Registry)

77-year-old Leon Albert Prince of Deatsville, Alabama has been indicted by an Elmore County grand jury on one count of sex abuse of a minor under age twelve. The current charges stem from an incident that occurred in 2010 or 2011 that was only recently reported by the victim.

The indictment came on January 7, 2022—decades after Prince’s previous conviction for raping a 7-year-old girl in 1972. Prince was arrested on January 24 and released the same day on a $40,000 bond. Now, his bail has been increased to $300,000 by Circuit Judge Bill Lewis, who has also issued a gag order in the case.

Prosecutors had requested a $500,000 bond, citing Prince as a serious danger to the community, according to Assistant District Attorney Amanda Johnson.

“He has previously been convicted of sexually abusing a child and served time in the Alabama Department of Corrections. This defendant has also tried to be pardoned on his crime of sexually abusing a child, but has continued to sexually abuse children,’’ Johnson wrote in her request.

Prince served only half of the 30-year sentence he was given for the decades old rape of Allison Black Cornelius. Cornelius didn’t come forward about the rape until almost twenty years after it had occurred. It was only when she couldn’t abide the thought that he might be doing this to other children that she finally gained the courage to speak out against him. Her vocal condemnation of him resulted in dozens of other victims, both male and female, who had been assaulted by Prince coming forward.

However, it was only Cornelius who would ultimately face him in court. Cornelius said that she had feared Prince. At the time of her rape, he was the head of the bus ministry at Tarrant First Baptist Church. He told her that if she didn’t do as he said and if she told anyone, he would slaughter her beloved dog.

Prince was convicted and sentenced to 30 years after a widely publicized trial of the landmark case. Cornelius didn’t shrink away from testifying against him in a Jefferson County court. A jury convicted him of “carnal knowledge of a child.” He was sentenced to 30 years, but only served 15. He was released from prison in November 2006.

Two years later, in 2008, Cornelius once again stood with lawmakers to ensure that an existing state law requiring neighbors to be informed when a sex offender is living nearby would apply to Prince, a registered sex offender living in Deatsville.

Prince had requested a pardon for his original conviction in 2020. He was granted a hearing but denied a pardon.

Anyone who has information about any other crimes Prince may have committed against another or themselves can contact VOCAL at 1-800-239-3219 to make a report or request any assistance they may need.

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Freelance Writer. Author. Alabamian. I write about true crimes, unsolved cases, and macabre mysteries.

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