The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the conviction of Terry Lee Bowen on two counts of rape and one count each of aggravated criminal sodomy and aggravated kidnapping in an opinion released Friday.
Bowen was convicted in June 2011, along with Lora Kay and Kenneth J. Frederick II, of the crimes against a then-14-year-old Peabody girl in June 2010. Bowen was sentenced to life in prison and was ordered to have no contact with his co-defendants or the victim. Bowen was registered as a sex offender at the time of the 2010 crimes.
The Supreme Court, in an opinion written by Justice Daniel Biles, vacated the no-contact order as outside the district court’s authority. However, it upheld Bowen’s conviction despite his claim that his attorney at the preliminary hearing had a conflict of interest, having been the prosecutor who obtained two convictions against Bowen on charges of aggravated indecent solicitation of an 11-year-old 10 years earlier.
At the preliminary hearing, Bowen said he knew his attorney had prosecuted the earlier case and said he had no problem with that. The Supreme Court ruled that waiver was sufficient.
Bowen’s appeal also argued that introduction of his prior convictions on sex crimes was not relevant to the case and its value as outweighed by potential for causing prejudice against him. The Supreme Court ruled Bowen’s history was relevant to the prosecution’s argument that Bowen had a disposition to sexually abuse girls around the age of the victim in this case, and that the evidence was admitted in a way to minimize its prejudicial potential.
The Supreme Court also rejected Bowen’s other arguments. The full opinion can be found online at http://www.kscourts.org by following the “Recent and Published Opinions” link on the left side of the page.