06/09/09 — Man gets prison time for rape of 12-year-old

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Man gets prison time for rape of 12-year-old

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on June 9, 2009 1:46 PM

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Bobby Nathan Owens

Bobby Nathan Owens was a "father figure" to the 12-year-old girl he admitted to raping in June 2008, prosecutors said.

Owens was sentenced to between 19 to just under 24 years in prison Monday morning, after taking a plea deal with prosecutors.

While Owens' attorney said his client felt great remorse for the incident, presiding Judge Arnold Jones called the admitted crime a "senseless act."

"This is a most serious offense -- the court has a lot of compassion for the victim in this case, as well as the victim's family," Jones said. "The court views this as a very senseless act, with absolutely no justification."

Owens was accused of three charges related to an alleged sexual assault of a 12-year-old under his care on June 10, 2008.

Owens, 46, of Pineview Avenue, took a plea agreement with prosecutors before his sentencing, breaking down tearfully in an apology to his victim's mother.

As part of the plea deal, Owens pleaded guilty to the most severe charge, first-degree sex offense with a child. He was not punished for two other charges, including indecent liberties with a child and committing a lewd or lascivious act.

Assistant District Attorney Sandra Meyer explained the case in fuller detail than had been previously released by authorities, in presenting what is called a "factual basis." Will Bland, the defendant's attorney, made no objections to Ms. Meyer's factual basis.

The 12-year-old girl, Ms. Meyer said, was left at home one day in June with the defendant, after Owens and the girl's mother had a fight.

The girl was talking on the phone with a friend when the alleged sexual assault began, when Owens began rubbing the girl's feet and then made more serious advances, including rape, Ms. Meyer said.

After sentencing, the mother of the victim said she was too "out of breath and in shock," to answer questions about the Monday court proceedings.

While court was still in session, the defendant was given a chance to apologize to the family.

"I would like to say to the family that I'm really sorry for all the things and the hurt that I've caused -- this is something I wished had never occurred.

"There's nothing I can say or do to take any of this back. I just still pray that y'all will forgive me, so, I just wish everybody the best, and my prayers will be with you, and I hope y'all will do the same for me. That's all."