Thrice-accused teen rapist Bowen Turner was remanded to the custody of the state of South Carolina on Wednesday after S.C. circuit court judge Roger M. Young Sr. revoked the sweetheart probation deal he received in April on one of three sexual assault charges he was facing.
So … did South Carolina’s “justice” system do its job in this high-profile case?
Hell no …
The Palmetto State’s ”justice” system let Turner walk when it should have locked him up … it was Turner who landed himself in this unenviable position.
To recap: Turner is facing multiple charges following a Mother’s Day incident in which he allegedly got drunk, tried to lure a woman into a vehicle, lied to police and threatened to bite off the finger of a deputy.
Oh, he also referred to a female detention center employee as a “bitch.”
Bad stuff, right? Indeed. But what made it worse is this ”fortunate son” – who is a month away from his 20th birthday – did all of this less than a month after he evaded accountability on a trio of sexual assault allegations.
Prior to all of this, Turner was accused of raping three different girls within a period of a little over a year in 2018 and 2019. Two of those cases were controversially dropped by S.C. second circuit solicitor Bill Weeks, whose office also negotiated a ridiculously lenient sentence on the third allegation.
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Based on this agreement, S.C. circuit court judge Markley Dennis sentenced Turner to probation on that simple assault charge – prompting national outrage.
Weeks appeared in court on Wednesday afternoon. During his remarks to the judge, he actually had the gall to say he was appearing “on behalf of the victims.”
Really? Last time I checked, the victims in this case did not concur with that characterization …
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How did Turner get such a sweetheart deal? Easy … he was represented on all three cases by powerful S.C. Senate minority leader Brad Hutto of Orangeburg, S.C. Hutto went to the mat for Turner, too, going so far as to slut-shame one of his victims in open court.
Hutto has since bailed on Turner, who was represented on Tuesday by S.C. first circuit public defender Jason Turnblad.
Turnblad pleaded with Young to allow Turner to seek treatment for his alcohol addiction, which he insisted was the root cause of all of his problems.
Victims’ attorney Sarah Ford – who has been battling for months to hold Turner accountable – rejected that view, maintaining (rightfully) that Turner was fresh out of excuses.
“This defendant has failed every condition the state has applied on him,” Ford said. “This defendant needs to be revoked – and revoked in full.”
Indeed … Turner habitually violated the conditions of his house arrest leading up to the controversial plea agreement in April. And he clearly violated the terms of his probation.
Judge Young agreed, revoking Turner’s probation.
“The conditions were clear,” Young said in announcing his decision. “I really don’t see that I have any leeway here.”
Young also required Turner to register as a sex offender – and declined to give him credit for the time he has served behind bars at the Orangeburg-Calhoun regional detention center since his Mother’s Day arrest.
“Good luck to you,” Young told Turner as he dropped the hammer on him.
Something in his tone, though, indicated the remark might not have been intended to convey good fortune.
After the hearing, Ford told me she was gratified by the outcome – but still disappointed in the system failure that led us to Wednesday’s hearing.
“These victims and families have been through so much and continue to push so hard for their rights – and for the rights of others,” she said. “Today was a step in the right direction, but it certainly doesn’t absolve what these victims have been put through over the past few years.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and seven children. And yes, he has LOTS of hats (including that Durham Bulls’ lid pictured above).
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