Judge revokes Bowen Turner’s probation, orders him to register as sex offender
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - A judge has revoked the probation of an Orangeburg County man accused of multiple sexual assaults and dozens of bond violations and has ordered him to register as a sex offender.
Judge Roger Young ordered 19-year-old Bowen Turner to remain behind bars on Wednesday. Turner was originally sentenced under the Youthful Offender Act, so he will serve 10-14 months.
“To know that Bowen Turner is going to serve a sentence in the Department of Corrections and will be on the sex offender registry, these are things these families have been pleading for for months and years,” Sarah Ford, the victims’ attorney, said.
Turner was accused of sexually assaulting three teens in three counties, and while out on bond for those cases, documents show he violated house arrest dozens of times to go to golf courses, restaurants and even across state lines.
He pleaded guilty to first degree assault and battery as part of a deal with prosecutors in early April. He was sentenced to five years of probation.
Just a month after that sentencing and while on probation, Turner was arrested for disorderly conduct, possession of alcohol by a minor and threatening a public employee.
While in court Wednesday for the probation revocation hearing, Turner’s lawyer Jason Turnblad, said Turner admitted he violated probation but asked the judge to consider Turner’s age and time served. Turner admitted he has an alcohol addiction, Turnblad said, and asked the judge for the opportunity for Turner to attend a rehabilitation facility.
After the hearing, Ford and Karl Stoller—the father of Dallas Stoller, one of Turner’s alleged victims—shared their reaction to the judge’s decision. Dallas died by suicide last year.
“Today is somewhat of a victory, but we still have a long way to go,” Karl Stoller, the father of one of Turner’s alleged sexual assault victims, said. “We have a long way to go, not just in the case…but this is a bigger picture than that.”
Dallas’ case was dropped in April when prosecutors said they could not continue with the case after her death. Ford has filed to appeal Turner’s April sentencing. Turner plead guilty to assault and battery as part of a deal with prosecutors.
The attorney general’s office says victims do not have a right to appeal a sentence. Ford filed for the appeal because she argues the court did not allow the victim to have her statement “meaningfully considered” and heard before the judge considered Turner’s proposed guilty plea.
The appeal also argues Turner’s bond company did not notify the solicitor or law enforcement immediately after learning that Turner violated bond dozens of times and did not comply with a court order. Furthermore, the appeal claims after prosecutors and law enforcement found out about the bond violations they did not take Turner into custody.
But in the motion filed Monday, the attorney general’s office argued Turner has not tried to appeal, so the plea and the sentence are final.
Meanwhile, according to Ford and Stoller, 2nd Circuit Solicitor Bill Weeks has agreed to take another look at the case.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.