Sheriff Ron Abernathy Traded Justice For Rape Victim Megan Rondini For VIP Perks At Crimson Tide Football Games
By Donald V. Watkins
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 27, 2017
©Copyrighted and Published (via Facebook) on August 27, 2017
First-term Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Sheriff Ron Abernathy, who was elected to office in November of 2014, traded criminal justice for 20-year-old rape victim Megan Rondini for VIP perks at Crimson Tide football games. Abernathy is the frontline of legal protection for mega donors to the Crimson Tide Foundation.
This elite group of donors includes the ST Bunn Construction Company, which is co-owned by Sonny Bunn, Jr., and Terry Jackson Bunn, Sr. Over the years, ST Bunn has shown its support of the University by: (a) leasing a luxury skybox suite in Bryant-Denny Stadium, which required a one-time $500,000 pledge of money, together with a hefty annual lease payment, plus the costs of tickets; (b) serving as a member of the Crimson Tradition Committee which raised more than $70 million to renovate and construct certain athletic facilities on campus; (c) contributing major donations to the Crimson Tide Foundation; and (d) lending the use of their corporate jet to the Athletic Department.
Terry Bunn, Sr., has also served as a member of the University President's Cabinet, which is a powerful group of about 300 members who advise the President on matters of importance to the alumni, donors, political establishment, and corporate community.
Sheriff Abernathy's wife, Leslie Abernathy, is the Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations at The University of Alabama. Together with her husband, she nurtures, oversees, and protects the University's most important donor relationships. One of the unofficial services Sheriff Abernathy offers in this arrangement is the ability to mitigate thorny law enforcement issues involving these donors and their family members.
For example, Sheriff Abernathy has the power and authority to reduce a felony rape case to a non-prosecutable "Special Inquiry" if it involves the family member of a mega donor to the Crimson Tide football program. Even when a dangerous "date rape" drug is used in this circumstance, Abernathy has not hesitated to use his power as sheriff to protect a known rapist who is among the ranks of the Crimson Tide Foundation donors.
Hobnobbing with skybox owners like the Bunn family makes Abernathy feel important. He craves this VIP treatment and will do nothing to jeopardize it, according to people who know Abernathy.
Sheriff Abernathy Knows Sweet T Well
Terry Jackson "Sweet T" Bunn, Jr., age 36, works as a vice president at ST Bunn Construction Company. Sweet T is the man University of Alabama honors student Megan Rondini named as her rapist on July 2, 2015.
Sheriff Abernathy knows Sweet T well. This Bunn family member has been designated as a "suspect" in other reported rape cases. He is also a known purchaser of "date rape" drugs, which he has often used on unsuspecting women. Unfortunately for his victims, Sweet T has escaped criminal prosecution in all of these rape cases.
According to the August 21, 2017, edition of the Alabama Political Reporter, law enforcement officials view Sweet T as a "dirt bag" who frequently trolls the Tuscaloosa bar scene in search of college-age women for party sex.
Megan Rondini committed suicide after Abernathy "fixed" her rape case to save Sweet T and after former district attorney Lyn Head informed the Rondini family that she was refusing to prosecute Sweet T on any charge. Head's refusal to prosecute Megan's rape case was based on (a) a "scripted" investigation performed by Abernathy's seasoned criminal investigators and (b) her receipt of laundered Bunn family campaign money.
Abernathy Takes Pride In Protecting Bunn Family Members From Criminal Exposure
The Bunn family occupies one of the top spots on the Crimson Tide Foundation's list of most valued relationships. The May 9, 2016, online edition of Yellowhammer News profiled Terry Bunn, Sr., among the "14 local Alabama leaders who are running their region of the state." Bunn's clout was described as follows:
"Bunn is President of the University of West Alabama Board of Trustees and continues to be an influential University of Alabama donor and supporter. He owns and operates ST Bunn Construction with his brother, Sonny. On any given fall afternoon, if you really need to get in touch with Terry Bunn, your best bet may be to go out to the Crimson Tide practice fields."
Sheriff Abernathy has acknowledged the Bunn family's prominence for a long time. About eight years ago, Abernathy attempted to intervene in another rape case in an effort to help Sweet T, who was identified as the rape suspect. In 2015, Abernathy again demonstrated his protection of Bunn family members by ordering his investigators to "script" or "fix" Megan Rondini's rape case in Sweet T's favor. Of course, the investigators complied with Abernathy's request.
When Abernathy assumed office in January of 2015, he took control of a department with an annual budget of about $27 million and a staff of 218, which included 101 sworn deputies, 72 detention officers, 16 dispatchers, 14 clerks, three animal control officers and 12 part-time courthouse security staff. Abernathy has made these resources available to the Bunn family and other mega donors to the Crimson Tide football program. Thanks to Sheriff Abernathy, the family members of donors to the Crimson Tide Foundation are modern-day "untouchables".
Out of what can only be described as a sense of guilt, Sheriff Abernathy sent a Facebook "friend" request on Friday to Cindy Maher Rondini, the mother of Megan Rondini. Twenty minutes later, he withdrew the request.
Abernathy Is Safe From Criminal Prosecution, For the Moment
For the moment, Ron Abernathy is safe from a criminal prosecution for obstruction of justice in Megan Rondini's rape case because Tuscaloosa District Attorney Hays Webb, who was elected to office in 2016, is (a) corrupted by tainted Bunn family campaign money and (b) weakened by his own love of VIP perks at Crimson Tide football games. Webb and Abernathy hangout in the skyboxes together.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, who was handpicked for the AG's position by former governor Robert Bentley in February, is no law enforcement threat to Ron Abernathy because he is too weak and incompetent to prosecute any high profile or public corruption case involving a powerful public official.
Bentley, who resigned from office in April following his guilty plea to ethics charges, picked Marshall as AG because this longtime Marshall County district attorney was generally regarded by law enforcement officials as the weakest district attorney in Alabama.
Marshall has shown no interest in reviewing or prosecuting Megan Rondini's rape case.
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