A minister says justice was not served when an Orangeburg man pleaded guilty to assaulting his daughter on Friday.
“In reality, justice will not be served here today and it is just a formalized step in a pre-arranged dance that has been choreographed in secret and is not supported by the victims,” he said. Reverend Darren Bess said in court.
Bowen Gray Turner, 19, had been charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in the attack on Chloe Bess, formerly of Orangeburg.
On Friday, Turner pleaded guilty to first-degree battery in the incident that occurred in Orangeburg County on June 2, 2019.
Circuit Judge Markley Dennis sentenced him under the Young Offenders Act to a maximum of six years, suspended to five years of probation. The trial period cannot be shortened.
Turner must abide by the rules of the sex offender registry for probation.
If he follows the rules, he will not be registered as a sex offender. If Turner commits a violation of sex offender probation within five years, he must register as a sex offender, Dennis said.
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Assistant Second Circuit Attorney David Miller said the incident happened around 3 a.m. at a pond house where Chloe Bess, Turner and other teenagers were at a party.
Chloe Bess came out of the pond house to call a friend when Turner approached her.
She told law enforcement officers that Turner pulled her behind a truck and put her on the ground, Miller said.
She also claimed that Turner pulled down her shirt, exposing her bra, then removed her pants and underwear and “sexually forced” himself on her.
When Turner was charged in that incident, he was also on bail for first-degree felony sexual conduct with aggravated force in a Bamberg County case.
Dallas Hayes Stoller made the allegations against Turner on October 7, 2018. Stoller died on November 24, 2021.
Ahead of Friday’s hearing, Miller told T&D the Bamberg County charge was dismissed because Stoller was no longer alive.
Dallas Stoller’s family feels like their case doesn’t matter to the 2nd Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
Her father, Karl Stoller, told the court on Friday, “Dallas attended a party in Bamberg County. She was brought home from the party intoxicated and eventually allegedly sexually assaulted later that night” after reporting to Orangeburg Regional Medical Center.
He said his daughter “made the difficult decision to move forward with the case, knowing that because of who her alleged abuser was, she would be the target of personal attacks and insults. in the community”.
“Today’s events are nothing more than a public spectacle with the intention that the accused not spend a moment in jail; apparently fully backed by the (Second Circuit) district attorney’s office – the only agency that has been tasked with being the voice of victims and doing their best to bring them justice,” he said.
“I could fully accept the decided outcome if I felt and fully believed that all families were well represented by the attorney’s office and were really doing the best they could,” he said.
“It is indeed a very sad day for the victims in our state.”
SC’s Law Enforcement Division also investigated a rape allegation made by a third accuser, however, the agency did not press charges.
Bess said her daughter and other accusers, “not only feel victimized by the defendant, but also by the justice system that was supposed to protect our daughter and others.”
“We have experienced a catastrophic failure of this system and it impacts my family on a daily basis,” he said.
Bess was pastoring in Orangeburg when Turner assaulted her daughter.
Chloe Bess has publicly identified herself as the victim in the case. She and her parents now live out of state.
Miller would not comment after Friday’s hearing.
Sarah Ford of the SC Victim Assistance Network said she plans to appeal Turner’s sentence. The network represents the accusers in the incidents.
On Wednesday, Ford filed motions asking the court to approve Turner’s immediate detention, citing more than 50 alleged violations of Turner’s house arrest terms based on the GPS tracking device he was wearing.
Contact the writer: [email protected] or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD