Mon, Feb. 24

Bowers case sent back to Grand Jury
County attorney seeks harsher penalties

William Duane Bowers

William Duane Bowers

William Duane Bowers has been re-indicted in a case of sexual conduct with a minor.

The Yavapai County Attorney's Office asked Judge Janis Ann Sterling to dismiss the original charges against 70-year-old Bowers in order to send the case back to the grand jury to modify the charges.

Bowers is best known in the Verde Valley as the longtime music director for the Cottonwood Community Band.

Lead deputy attorney Dennis McGrane explained that prosecutors wanted the case to reflect the more severe form of the statute.

The new indictment raises the penalty for sexual conduct with a minor from a Class 6 to a Class 2 felony. If convicted of that offense, Bowers could face as much as 10 years in prison, rather than one and a half years.

The second count, child/vulnerable adult abuse, remains the same.

The situation came to light May 18, 2007, when the victim's grandmother allegedly found Bowers sexually involved with a 19-year-old girl who is deaf and developmentally disabled.

She told detectives that he had been molesting her since she was 10 or 11 years old.

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