From The Trussville Tribune staff reports
PELL CITY — A man accused in human trafficking and sexual abuse charges is scheduled to appear in Jefferson and St. Clair County courts, in March 2020.
Pell City authorities said Brent Lee Higginbotham, 27, of Ragland, is accused of soliciting a teenager for sex. The teen was in a parking lot on Main Street South when police said she was approached by Higginbotham. The teen said Higginbotham blocked the door of her car and made sexual comments to her. He was later arrested and charged with human trafficking and tampering with evidence.
The incident in Pell City happened on Saturday, Aug. 17. At the time, Higginbotham was out on bond in connection to a 2018 case in Trussville. Police said the 14-year-old victim told them that Higginbotham grabbed her in the parking lot of Trussville Crossing Shopping Center on Chalkville Mountain Road.
The victim was able to get away. Higginbotham was charged with one count of first-degree sexual abuse by force and a second charge of second-degree sexual abuse due to the age of the victim. The bond for the Jefferson County case was revoked.
Higginbotham pleaded not guilty to the charges in St. Clair County, during his arraignment. He will have the opportunity to consult with counsel and enter a final plea on March 3, 2020. His trial is set for March 16.
As for the charges in Jefferson County, a pretrial hearing has been set for March 20.