Victims’ attorney calls for investigation into Bowen Turner case from S.C. Attorney General
ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WCSC) - The attorney representing the victims of Bowen Turner has sent a letter to the South Carolina Attorney General asking for a full investigation after she says documents Live 5 Investigates uncovered show Turner’s parents deliberately helped him violate bond and secretly admitted him to an alcohol and drug treatment facility.
Turner is the 19-year-old from Orangeburg accused of sexually assaulting three girls in three counties in 2018 and 2019. Court documents show he violated the terms of his house arrest more than 50 times to go to golf courses, restaurants and stores.
Documents show Turner’s lawyer, State Sen. Brad Hutto, told prosecutors in an email that Turner violated his bond all those times because he was depressed.
“As part of the therapy for his depression, [Turner’s] doctor told his parents that he needed to get out of the house just a little bit,” the email read.
After uncovering the email and accompanying documents, we showed them to the victims’ attorney, Sarah Ford, last week. Ford is also the legal director for the South Carolina Victim Assistance Network.
“Reading this email for the first time, it’s incredibly troubling,” she said.
Ford sent a letter to State Attorney General Alan Wilson Friday, which says, based on the documents obtained by Live 5 Investigates, Ford believes Turner’s parents and grandmother “knowingly and willingly” allowed him to repeatedly leave home when he was supposed to be on house arrest.
The letter details Turner’s 2019 bond hearing when a judge ordered Turner on “hard core house arrest.”
The letter reads:
As they stood before the judge, he asked, “Does anybody have any questions about my somewhat draconian requirements?” Defendant Turner’s father responded, “No, Your Honor,” representing that the family understood these terms. With the family standing before him, Judge McFaddin further instructed them, “Do you understand if you violate it, you may be implicated, being at fault or blame, and he goes back to jail?” Again Mr. Turner, the Defendant’s father, replied on behalf of the family, “Yes, sir.”
The letter states that despite the court’s warning, Turner’s family drove him to those golf courses, restaurants and on other prohibited outings.
“To see that these individuals were the ones apparently encouraging him to break the conditions of that bond, that’s very concerning,” Ford said in an interview.
According to the letter, based on Hutto’s notes, Turner went to an alcohol treatment facility in Sea Island, Georgia this past Christmas. However, the letter says there is a ten-day gap when there was no data for Turner’s GPS monitor, suggesting it was disabled or not working.
“Judge McFaddin specifically allowed medical visits, and one could not protest a defendant seeking treatment for depression,” the letter reads. “However, the question is why Defendant Turner had to be admitted to an out-of-state inpatient alcohol treatment facility on Christmas Eve, why the GPS monitor was disabled, and why this admission was kept a secret.”
In the letter, Ford asks for law enforcement to figure out if Turner’s parents had allowed him to have access to alcohol while he was underage on house arrest and under their exclusive supervision.
“Since he was not allowed visitors from outside the family, it raises the question of how he came into possession of the intoxicating and/or addictive substances,” the letter says.
The letter states Turner’s parents should be investigated for contributing to his delinquency and turning a blind eye to Turner’s access to addictive substances.
“If they were found to have condoned his consumption, it would be a more serious situation,” Ford says in the letter.
Ford also requests the Attorney General’s Office examines Dallas Stoller’s sexual assault. Turner was facing a first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge in that case, however, Ford says the case was dismissed because Stoller died by suicide before it went to trial. The Stoller family and Ford want the case re-opened.
We reached out to Sen. Hutto and Attorney General Wilson for a response and have not heard back at the time of publication.
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