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Orangeburg rape suspect to await trial at home
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Orangeburg rape suspect to await trial at home

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An Orangeburg teen accused of two rapes has been allowed to return to his parents’ Orangeburg home while he awaits trial.

Bowen Gray Turner, 17, of Jackson Drive, is facing two charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

He was 16 at the time of the alleged rapes. He’s charged as an adult.

Turner’s previous bond conditions required him to stay a minimum of 250 yards from his accusers and a minimum of one-quarter mile from his accusers’ homes at all times.

Because one of his accusers lived within a one-quarter mile of his parents’ home, he moved to his grandmother’s home elsewhere in Orangeburg County while he also wore GPS monitoring.

Circuit Judge George McFaddin Jr. changed Turner’s bond conditions in a March 16 order allowing him to return to his parents’ home while awaiting trial. His other bond conditions remain the same.

Through his attorney, Sen. Brad Hutto, Turner asked to return to his parents’ home because the accuser in a June 2, 2019, incident is living in another state.

Assistant Solicitor David W. Miller, of the 2nd Judicial Circuit, didn’t oppose Hutto’s request.

S.C. Victim Assistance Network Legal Director Sarah Ford, who represents Turner’s accusers, opposed his bond reconsideration.

Ford argued that Turner’s attorney didn’t provide any change in Turner’s circumstances that warranted bond modification.

She also argued that Turner’s parents’ home was “not a safe or appropriate place” for him to serve his house arrest because he was living in his parents’ home when the incidents allegedly occurred. The alleged rapes did not, however, take place at his parents’ home.

Ford additionally argued that the accusers’ rights have been violated.

Ford said that Turner’s bond has been “modified by informal agreements between the State and Defense Counsel without judicial involvement and without notifying the victims.”

She claimed that Turner was allowed to attend a family Christmas function in Lexington County on Dec. 20, 2019, and he was allowed to live with his parents during the threat of Hurricane Dorian on Sept. 2, 2019, because his grandmother’s home didn’t have a generator.

“Failure to notify the victims in advance of potential bond modifications, including Christmas at a family gathering, violates their rights and erodes public confidence in the judicial system. When counsel orchestrate modifications outside the presence of a judge, the community’s confidence is eroded and the victims are endangered,” she argued.

First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe asked for the Orangeburg County case to be handled by the 2nd Judicial Circuit. In addition, 1st Circuit Judge Ed Dickson recused himself in the matter.

Hutto didn’t respond to a request for comment in the matter.

Contact the writer: mbrown@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5545. Follow on Twitter: @MRBrownTandD..

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