Marty Decole “Cole” Wagner, the former chair of an anti-abortion committee in Alabama, has been arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a child under 12 years old, as reported by the Alabama Political Reporter.
Wagner, 32, a Republican, was the chair of the Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama. Additionally, he held a position as an employee of the state education department, specifically in government relations. Following his arrest, he was promptly terminated from his position with the Alabama Department of Education.
The state education department expressed deep concern over the gravity of the allegations against Wagner, acknowledging the seriousness and shocking nature of the charges.
“The allegations against Mr. Wagner are serious, tragic and shocking,” the state education department said in a statement, according to the report. “While he was employed by our department for only a few months, Mr. Wagner has been terminated effective immediately. No further information is available at this time as the investigation is ongoing.”
In 2018, the Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama, led by Wagner, had announced its intention to campaign for a constitutional amendment opposing abortion rights, aiming for its passage in the November state ballot. It is uncertain whether the Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama remains an active organization. After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, abortion became illegal in Alabama.
Following his arrest, Wagner was released on a $60,000 bond and could potentially face up to 20 years in prison.