Civil Rights Leader Convicted of Incest Set Free on Bond

Rev. Bevel free to pursue appeal

An iconic figure from the civil rights movement who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for incest has been freed on bond to pursue an appeal and will likely never spend another day in jail.

The Rev. James L. Bevel, 71, is dying from pancreatic cancer and has at most a few months to live, doctors estimated.  It is unlikely he will ever return to jail even if the conviction is upheld because any appeal will likely take 18 months or longer to resolve.

Bevel was a top lieutenant to Martin Luther King Jr. and architect of the 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Ala., as well as other pivotal moments of the civil rights movement.

In April, a jury convicted Bevel of incest for having sex more than a decade ago with his then-teenage daughter.

Prosecutors in Loudoun County, where Bevel was convicted, opposed his release.

He served about seven months of his 15-year sentence.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
Contact Us