Etowah County man accused of abusing, locking teen in crawlspace in 1980s

Bobby Wallis Copeland,82(Etowah County Jail)

SOUTHSIDE, Ala. (AP) — Authorities in Alabama say a man is accused of locking a teen in a crawlspace if the boy refused sexual contact in the 1980s.

News outlets report 82-year-old Bobby Wallis Copeland was booked Tuesday in the Etowah County Detention Center. Court records show Copeland is charged with sodomy, sexual abuse, and aggravated child abuse.

The Gadsden Times reports that the victim says Copeland was his neighbor in Southside and abused him when he was 13 to 15 years old. Etowah County Investigator Brandi Fuller says Copeland is also charged with sex crimes in Cleburne and Lee counties stemming from hunting trips with the victim.

Fuller says Copeland admitted to abusing the victim and 10 other boys.

Court records don’t show whether Copeland has an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

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