A man charged with raping one of his foster children has been granted lower bond

Albert Ferrell
Albert Ferrell

A lower bond has been set for a Bradenton man who was a foster parent for more than a decade and is charged with raping one of the girls in his care.

Albert Ferrell, 65, is charged with sexual battery of a child older than 12 years old and younger than 18 by a person in custodial authority and battery on a law enforcement officer.

On Thursday, Ferrell appeared before Circuit Judge Charles Sniffen as his public defender argued for reasonable bond. Sniffen reduced Ferrell’s bond, setting it at $150,000. Should Ferrell be able to post the bond, the judge also ordered him into the Supervised Release program.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, however, Ferrell remained in custody at the Manatee County jail.

The allegations against Ferrell first came to light on Nov. 30 when the then 19-year-old victim went to the Bradenton Police Department and reported years of abuse while in Ferrell’s care. Ferrell was arrested later that day, after detectives say he admitted during a controlled call with the victim and their interview with him that he had sex with the teen and knew her age at the time.

Ferrell initially was released from the Manatee County jail after posting bonds totaling $101,500 on Dec. 14. But Ferrell was arrested again when the State Attorney’s Office formally filed the charges in the case and added the custodial authority element to the sexual battery charge. He had since been held on a $250,000 bond.

If convicted as he is charged now, Ferrell could face up to life in prison.

Police have not ruled out that there could be more victims, since Ferrell was a foster father for more than 12 years. Ferrell could face additional charges in connection to the current victim since police say the abuse went on for years.

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012