Bowen Turner’s sentence of probation for one guilty plea (after being credibly accused of raping three girls) has led to widespread public outrage. Rightly so. This case shows the injustice in South Carolina.
A North Carolina serial rapist who avoided prison visited the grave of one of his alleged victims while “confined” to house arrest. Bowen was also cited for violating the terms of his bond several times after his seizure. However, Bowen Turner is the son of Walt Turner and Jennifer Baugh. His father is an law enforcement investigator for First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe since 2005. The apparent leniency in Turner’s sentencing has been attributed by many to his father’s job at the District Attorney’s office.
Turner’s charges include two counts of first-degree criminal sexual misconduct for separate assaults in recent years. Turner had been first accused in October 2018 for the assault of Dallas Stoller. He was arrested and charged as a minor. While out on a $10,000 bond in the Stoller case, Turner sexually assaulted teen Chloe Bess.
Bess was at a party with Turner when he forcibly pulled her behind a truck and sexually assaulted her. Second Circuit Deputy Solicitor David Miller said in court:
“Turner then pulled her pants and underwear off and forced himself sexually on the victim.”
A similar traumatic incident happened with Stoller. Turner sexually assaulted Stoller at a lakeside party on October 7, 2018. Stoller’s friends found her lying unconscious as Turner was pulling his pants back up, finding bruises and scratches all over her body. Victim Dallas Stoller killed herself in November because of the incident between her and Turner. However, prosecutors dropped the credible charges after Stoller’s suicide despite strong forensic evidence and eyewitness testimony.
In interviews on the Murdaugh Murders podcast, Stoller’s father and sister revealed that she had died from self-inflicted injury after allegedly being abused and bullied by classmates and teachers when she reported the assault. Stoller’s family expected backlash from the community after reporting the assault, especially considering Turner’s father’s connections to their town.
Turner got a sweetheart deal. Turner got probation and will not have to register as a sex offender after serving probation. Bowen Turner received probation in a plea deal after admitting that he sexually assaulted Chloe Bess in 2019.
The South Carolina Victim Assistance Network filed a motion stating Turner escaped custody and should be sent to prison. Turner repeatedly and illegally left his home while on house arrest! Over 50 times!
He certainly enjoyed his freedom. Turner played golf. He shopped. He even left the State. Incredibly, he even visited the grave of victim Stoller. Did he rape anyone else? Will we ever know?
On Friday, Turner was sentenced to 5 years probation.
Even after he violated his bond conditions dozens of times.
He won’t be required to register as a sex offender.
— Mandy Matney (@MandyMatney) April 12, 2022
There is now a sign that hangs by Stoller’s grave that reads, “Bowen Turner, you are NOT welcomed here!”
Chloe Bess, who was assaulted in June 2019, said she was “extremely disappointed” by the sentence.