Prison records show a registered sex offender accused of attempted rape in Foley had a violent past, even while stuck behind bars for nearly 20 years.

Bernard Christopher Abney, 40, of Mobile, is currently charged with first-degree attempted rape and second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. Foley Police believe he attacked a woman who was jogging in a city park on January 17.

An inmate summary from the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) shows Abney had recently served nearly 20 years in prison for a 2003 rape of a 14-year-old. During that time, the violence continued.

The document showed 76 disciplinaries from Jan. 12, 2004-Feb. 23, 2022, including forcible sexual assault, multiple indecent exposure/exhibitionism charges, assault with a weapon on an inmate, assault on a person associated with ADOC, fighting, possession of contraband, disorderly conduct, creating a security, safety or health hazard and many other actions.

For some of the offenses, Abney was sent to segregation and lost privileges. However, charges outside of prison walls were not filed.

Abney was then put in the state’s mandatory release program, allowing him to be released from prison early in January 2023. He was re-arrested the next month for failing to register as a sex offender.

Abney was officially released from ADOC custody due to the end of his sentence in July 2023. But it didn’t take long for him to end up behind bars again when he was charged with shoplifting in Foley in September. He was released from the Baldwin County Jail days later. After being released on bond, he was once again charged for not registering as a sex offender. Abney wasn’t on the radar again until the January 2024 incident in Foley.

Abney remains in jail in Mobile County and has a preliminary hearing for a SORNA (Sex Offender Registration Notification Act) violation on February 26. Prosecutors are arguing to revoke any bond due to “criminal conduct while on pretrial release.”

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