Court docs: Man on house arrest visited golf courses 19 times, restaurants, went shopping
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - An Orangeburg County man accused of two sexual assaults will face a judge Friday after court documents allege he violated his bond and the terms of his house arrest dozens of times.
Bowen Turner, now 19, is expected to enter a plea for one of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charges.
In 2018, Dallas Stoller was the president of her senior class, and she was a smart and outgoing teenager, her father, Karl Stoller, says.
“[She was] a friend to almost everyone she met,” he says. “That was just her. She had a huge heart.”
One night, Dallas came home from a party intoxicated, distraught and covered in bruises, saying she had been sexually assaulted, her father says.
“It was very upsetting obviously, and very disheartening,” he says. “And very, I like to use the word, ‘tragic,’ once we found out who the alleged individual was.”
The family later pressed charges against her classmate, Turner, who was then 16-years old, the Stollers say.
Public records show Turner was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Bamberg County in January of 2019. Turner was released on bond but was required to wear a GPS monitor. A few months later, a judge allowed him to remove it.
But less than five months after that first arrest — while he was still out on bond — court documents show Turner was arrested again. He was slapped with that same charge, first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
An affidavit reveals the arrest also stems from a party; this time it was in Orangeburg County. The victim was not named because she was a minor at the time, but Chloe Bess says she was the one sexually assaulted by Turner in June of 2019 when she was 16-years-old.
“I just remember being so petrified, like, I was frozen,” she says. “I honestly just remember sitting there looking at the stars just praying for it to be done, waiting for it to be over with, so I could run away.”
Court documents state that after Turner’s second arrest, he was denied bond. A few months later, he was granted bond, but the judge ordered Turner wear a GPS monitor and go on house arrest. He couldn’t have visitors and couldn’t leave except to see his attorney, for mental health appointments or for medical emergencies.
With Turner out on bond, the months marched on. The victims and their families say they attempted to navigate the judicial system while also tackling the lingering trauma.
“There’s not a day since this happened that I haven’t woken up and thought about it,” Bess says.
The trauma, the gossip and stress weighed heavy on Dallas Stoller, even after high school, until last fall, according to her family.
“We lost our sister on Nov. 14, and that changed everything,” Brette Tabatabai, Dallas’ sister, says.
Now, nearly four years after the first alleged assault, the Bess family has moved out of state, the Stoller family has lost Dallas and Turner should have been awaiting trial at home with his GPS monitor. But court documents show that’s not been the case.
“To me it’s definitely just a slap in the face,” Bess says.
Turner’s GPS monitor showed he visited dozens of different places, including 19 trips to golf courses, as well as outings to restaurants, sporting goods stores and even a car dealership, according to court documents. The GPS monitor showed him taking trips to Columbia, Graniteville and even crossing state lines to Brunswick, Georgia, documents state.
Bess, her family and the Stoller family all say more should have been done as soon as it was discovered that Turner had violated bond, as court documents say law enforcement has the authority to take him into custody if he violates his bond.
“[He has] multiple bond violations,” Darren Bess, Chloe’s father, says. “He was out on bond when this happened to Chloe. It’s like he keeps getting pass after pass after pass.”
The victims’ attorney says the charge for Stoller’s alleged assault was dismissed Thursday. It was dismissed, she says, because Stoller died and can’t testify — something her sister says is unacceptable.
“Where are the victims’ rights?” Tabatabai says. “There are no victims’ rights. It’s been 3-and-a-half- years, where are they? And he’s dismissing that because she’s passed away.”
The two families now say prosecutors have approached them about offering a plea deal to Turner, and Bess and her family say they are frustrated.
“It’s like when you go into a convenience store and you rob it at gunpoint, but then you get charged with stealing a candy bar,” Bess says.
The Stollers are left feeling as though they may never have justice for Dallas.
“I do believe in my heart that there’s a good possibility that things would be different if things were done like they were supposed to be—if justice was served like it was supposed to be,” Tabatabai says.
Turner’s lawyer is South Carolina State Senator Brad Hutto. We called his law office and his Senate office and left messages asking for an interview or a statement. We also sent him an email directly but have not heard back by the time of publication.
Turner’s hearing is set for 10 a.m. at the Orangeburg County Courthouse.
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