A 19-year-old South Carolina man whose father works for a District Attorney in the state avoided jail time after rape charges following a VERY favorable plea deal — and now, his victims are coming forward and letting their outrage be known!
Bowen Turner (pictured in his mugshot, above) received just a slap on the wrist from Orangeburg County Judge Markley Dennis last week after admitting to raping a woman named Chloe Bess in 2019. Turner had also been accused of raping a second victim, 18-year-old Dallas Stoller, as well as a third woman, in charges that have since been dropped.
In the case involving Bess, Turner struck a plea deal to avoid jail time, legally downgrading his charges to assault and battery. Sorry, what?! As for Stoller, that case is even more tragic — the charges in that case were dropped after the victim died suddenly in November of last year.
According to FitsNews, Bowen’s father Walt Turner is an investigator for South Carolina first circuit court solicitor David Pascoe. So, when the younger Turner was initially arrested, his case was handed to the court’s second-in-command solicitor, Bill Weeks. The outlet notes that while there has not been a formal declaration of impropriety in the case, critics are slamming the Turner family’s connections as being very concerning.
Just how connected is he? His dad’s boss may have recused himself, but it didn’t stop them from getting a seriously high-up defense attorney: South Carolina state senator Brad Hutto. If you think that doesn’t come with strings…
The first allegation against Turner came in 2018, when he was accused of raping and beating Stoller. While that case was going to court, Turner was out on bond. She died suddenly in November of 2021, eventually leading to authorities dropping the charges against him. Still, Turner’s get-out-of-jail-free card now breaks her family’s hearts.
Her father, Karl Stoller, spoke to the court on Friday, according to the Times and Democrat. He said:
“Dallas attended a party in Bamberg County. She was brought home from the party heavily intoxicated and would ultimately be found to be sexually assaulted later that night. made the difficult decision to move forward with the case, all the while knowing because of who her alleged attacker was, she would be a target of personal attacks and insults in the community. I could fully accept whatever outcome was decided if I felt and fully believed all families were well-represented by the solicitor’s office and they truly did the best job they could. This is indeed a very sad day for victims in our state.”
When Turner was out on bond in that case, in 2019, he was accused of raping Bess at a house party. Turner allegedly overpowered Bess on the ground in the middle of the night following a party at a pond in an outdoor area in Orangeburg County. Again, this was while he was out on bond on another rape charge!
Hutto, who we’ll remind you is a STATE SENATOR, went after the victim in court, saying:
“Well, guess what? You just had sex on the ground with a boy you didn’t really know and you got up and you feel ashamed, you feel regret, that’s not rape.”
Turner was placed on home arrest as part of his bond conditions prior to trial. However, according to WCSC, the alleged attacker breached his house arrest terms dozens of times on outings to a Brazilian steakhouse and several other restaurants, trips to play golf, and even a jaunt to Georgia to purchase a car.
Bess’ lawyer, Sarah Ford, slammed the flagrant violations in court, saying:
“There have been issue after issue with this case. He’s ignored court order after court order and his victims have been told to just sit and endure.”
Initially charged with sexual misconduct in Bess’ case, Turner entered into a plea deal with the prosecution on Friday. He was ultimately convicted of assault and battery, and given probation, which his lawyers argued was appropriate since he’d been a juvenile at the time of the attack.
A third rape charge against Turner was filed in nearby Calhoun County and later dropped. Details of those allegations have not been revealed publicly. According to DailyMail.com, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division chose not proceed with criminal charges in that case, but it’s unclear why.
Horrified at Turner’s easy sentence in light of the multiple allegations against him, Bess waived her right to anonymity and chose to spoke out publicly in condemnation. In a statement at a press conference after the sentencing, she said:
“I’m extremely disappointed, I feel like no matter what we say, it falls on deaf ears. This feels defeating but I will not be defeated.”
Stoller’s sister Brette Tabatabai also made a statement about her late loved one in light of Turner’s easy out:
“The fact that the defendant is going to walk free today and our sister is never going to walk the earth again. We feel like not only her voice was stolen but ours too.”
Bess’ father, Reverend Darren Bess, also added his own disbelief at the lack of consequences in the cases:
“We have experienced a catastrophic failure of this system and it impacts my family daily.”
Here is more on the terrible case:
According to reports, Bess’ legal team has since filed a motion to appeal Turner’s sentence.
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