PIKE COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — A Dothan Attorney is claiming Pike County Sheriff Russell Thomas is in contempt of court by not releasing an accused sex offender on his set bond.

On April 6, Judge Shannon Clark set a total bond of $2.2 million for David Benton, who was indicted on four counts of sodomy in the first degree, one count of rape in the first degree, fourteen counts of sexual abuse of a child under the age of 12, and eighteen counts of production of obscene matter. He is facing $60,000 per charge.

The Court finds that despite the appalling nature and circumstances of the charged offenses and the weight of the evidence against the defendant, the defendant is nonetheless entitled to bail.

Judge Shannon Clark Bond Ruling

According to Dothan Attorney Billy Sheffield II, on Monday, May 15, when Benton’s family and bondsman went to post bail at the Pike County Jail, staff told them they needed to go through Sheriff Russell Thomas.

Sheffield says despite the bond being set, Sheriff Thomas refused to release Benton.

Rickey Stokes, whose company, Advantage Bonding, is issuing Benton’s bond, told WDHN he called Sheriff Thomas to discuss the issue, and Thomas said he will not be releasing the inmate.

Sheffield has not spoken with the Sheriff but says this is the first time he has ever seen anything like this.

On Monday, May 22, Sheffield filed a relief for what he called Benton’s “Unconstitutional incarceration”, asking that he be released on his set bond.

The Sheriff is in contempt of this Honorable Court’s order and violating Mr.Benton’s right to be released on bond

Billy Sheffield II, Writ of Habeas Corpus

A hearing is set for Thursday at 10:00 a.m.