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Bowen Turner

Bowen Turner enters the Orangeburg County courtroom with attorney Charlie Williams for his July 9 bond hearing.

An Orangeburg teen accused of raping two females is out on bond. 

Bowen Gray Turner of Jackson Drive, who turned 17 on Monday, has been held at the S.C. Department of Juvenile Justice on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct since June 12.

Although he was 16 at the time of both alleged offenses, he is being tried as an adult.

Turner, represented by Orangeburg Sen. Brad Hutto, appeared for an initial bond hearing on July 9 before Circuit Judge Casey Manning. Manning denied the motion for bond on July 29.

Turner applied again for bond consideration. He noted that once he turned 17, he would be moved from the custody of DJJ to the Orangeburg County Detention Center.

That bond consideration hearing occurred on Turner’s birthday, Monday, before Circuit Judge George M. McFaddin Jr. at the Dorchester County Courthouse in St. George, which is within the 1st Judicial Circuit.

According to Turner’s bond order, McFaddin released him on a $100,000 surety bond, with the payment of 5 percent.

Conditions of Turner’s bond are specific:

• Turner is not allowed to leave home between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. and may only leave home between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for the purposes of attorney visits, court appearances, mental health counseling and medical emergencies.

• Turner must be under GPS monitoring, at his own expense, and not be released from custody until the GPS monitor is affixed.

• Turner must reside at his grandmother’s home, not at his parents’ home.

• While under home detention, Turner must be physically monitored by his parents, his grandmother or his aunt. Turner must be accompanied by at least one of those family members at any time.

• Turner is not allowed to receive any visitors that are not related to him by blood or marriage.

• Turner is not allowed to have any contact, directly or indirectly, with potential witnesses or the accuser or accuser’s family.

• Turner is ordered to stay a minimum of 250 yards from the accuser and a minimum of one-quarter mile from the accuser’s residence at all times.

• Turner must enroll in and make adequate academic progress toward completion of his high school graduation requirements.

• Aside from required internet access to complete academic requirements, Turner is not allowed to have access to the internet via phone or computer. He’s strictly forbidden from any and all social media activity.

• Any and all violations of the conditions of home detention must be reported to the 2nd Circuit Solicitor’s Office or the Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office within 24 hours of the violation. Failure to comply with this notification requirement will subject the electronic monitoring company to potential criminal and civil sanctions for contempt of court.

• If Turner is observed violating any term or condition of the order granting bond, any law enforcement agency is authorized to immediately take him into custody and hold him in custody pending a hearing on the alleged violation of the order.

Turner’s first criminal sexual conduct charge stems from an alleged incident in Bamberg County in October 2018, according to S.C. Law Enforcement Division warrants. SLED charged Turner in that case on Jan. 29.

Turner was released on a $10,000 bond. Court records show he was wearing a GPS monitoring device until his attorneys, Charlie Williams and Shane Burroughs, asked a judge to order it removed.

A judge granted that request on April 22.

The second charge stems from allegations that he assaulted a 16-year-old female at a party held at a pond house on Neeses Highway on June 2, according to a SLED warrant.

First Circuit Solicitor David Pascoe asked for the Orangeburg County case to be handled by the 2nd Judicial Circuit.

According to a footnote on the order McFaddin signed on Monday, resident 1st Circuit Judge Ed Dickson recused himself in this matter.

Sarah Ford, legal director for the S.C. Victim Assistance Network, is representing both females in this case.

Ford said, “On Monday, the victims of Bowen Turner had to endure another bond hearing because the previous order signed by Judge Manning denied bond without prejudice, allowing the defendant to make yet another motion for reconsideration of bond. …

“After hearing arguments from the state and victim’s counsel, both requesting that bond be denied, and Sen. Hutto’s arguments, the court decided to grant bond. While bond is not meant to be punitive, its intention is to ensure that the defendant will attend all court hearings and not be a danger to the community. As argued at Monday’s hearing, the victims’ position is that Bowen Turner is the very definition of a danger to the community, and bond should not be granted.”

Hutto said, “Out of respect for all of the parties involved, this matter is best handled in the judicial system and not the press. So I will continue to reserve my advocacy for the courtroom. Like everyone in our country, Mr. Turner is presumed to be innocent. I expect that the truth will prevail in this case.”

If Turner is convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, he faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on each charge.

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

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