Mon, Jan. 20

Bowers reaches plea agreement on sex offenses

William Duane Bowers

William Duane Bowers

William Duane Bowers of Cottonwood has agreed to plead guilty to a single count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor and one count of vulnerable adult abuse.

Bowers, now 70, was charged with sex acts with a girl who is developmentally disabled and deaf.

During the change of plea hearing before Judge Warren Darrow Tuesday, Bowers' attorney stated that the offense of contributing to the delinquency of a minor was charged for instances of "sexual fondling" from 2001 through 2004. The count of vulnerable adult abuse refers to instances of "sexual intercourse" between 2004 and 2006.

The charges were originally filed in May 2006 after the girl's grandmother discovered Bowers sexually involved with the girl.

He was originally charged with six counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault and one count of child molestation.

The county attorney dropped the original charges against Bowers and took the case back to the grand jury early this year in order so that Bowers could be charged with more serious crime.

Under terms of the plea, Bowers faces a Class-1 misdemeanor for the contributing offense and an undesignated Class-6 felony for the vulnerable adult abuse offense.

A stipulation of the agreement would require that the felony may not be reduced to a misdemeanor until after the term of probation has expired. Probation could extend from three years to lifetime.

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