Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Craig Steven Bowen - Teacher Molester - Pleads for Mercy

Craig Steven Bowen was found guilty of four counts of child molestation in Coweta Superior Court on Tuesday.

After listening to Bowen's pleas for leniency, Judge Jack Kirby sentenced him to 20 years with 15 to serve in prison -- the balance of which he's to serve on probation -- for admittedly having an ongoing sexual relationship with a female relative who was under 16.

Bowen was sentenced to 20 years with 15 to serve in prison for each count of child molestation -- all of which will run concurrently.

"I never intended to do anything wrong," Bowen said just prior to sentencing. "I take full responsibility for what I did. I'm an adult and she's a child."

Bowen said the inappropriate relationship ended in June 2002. He told the judge that he would have accepted the plea offer from the state for 20 years with 12 to serve had he known the specific dates of alleged wrongdoing outlined in the indictment "didn't mean anything."

Bowen's defense attorney Macklyn Smith had based his defense around those dates in an attempt to show there was no opportunity for wrongdoing on those dates.

Bowen pleaded for mercy from the court saying he was no threat to society.

Kirby said the plea was offered and that Bowen would get a harsher penalty because he put the victim through a trial.

According to Senior Assistant District Attorney Ray Mayer, Bowen sexually fondled the juvenile relative in Coweta County on several occasions beginning when the victim was around 5 or 6 years old and ending when she was 9 or 10.

The crux of the prosecution was Bowen's taped interview with the Coweta County Sheriff's Office on April 12. In the video, Bowen made admissions about inappropriately touching the victim, according to Mayer.

The jury deliberated the case from approximately 2:50 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. before finding Bowen guilty on all counts.

Bowen, of Senoia, is a former Fayette County teacher. He resigned as a teacher at Rising Starr Middle School in Fayetteville following his arrest in April. In 2003, he ran for a Georgia House District post in the Republican Primary. He was a foster parent until his arrest.

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