Child rape charge for Alabama state employee who ran anti-abortion committee

Marty Decole "Cole" Wagner was an employee of the Alabama Department of Education who used to preside over an anti-abortion committee in the state. He was arrested Wednesday and charged with sexual abuse of a child under age 12, reports Josh Moon with the Alabama Political Reporter. Alabama's state government rushed to fire him.

"The allegations against Mr. Wagner are serious, tragic and shocking," a statement from ALSDE said Thursday. "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."

APR reported in 2018 that Wagner had been tapped to head up the anti-abortion committee Alliance for a Pro-Life Alabama, which was formed primarily to push a constitutional amendment saying there was no right to an abortion in Alabama. The amendment, which ultimately passed, had no effect on actual abortion laws. 

It's a steady drumbeat you'll hear all over the county but always somehow a surprise.