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W.Va. man sentenced in sex assault case

October 03, 2007|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - A 45-year-old Berkeley County man was sentenced Tuesday to serve at least 35 years in prison after he entered guilty and no-contest pleas this summer to five felony counts of sexual assault charges.

Edward Michael Bowman was arrested in October 2006 and indicted on 26 counts by a Berkeley County grand jury in May 2007, according to circuit court records. This summer, Bowman entered a guilty plea to one count and then no-contest pleas to four counts of the indictment, according to the Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney's office.

Depending on Bowman's behavior behind bars, the collective sentence range of 35 to 85 years decided by 23rd Judicial Circuit judge Gray Silver III could allow for Bowman to serve even more time, according to Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones. Prison terms for the convictions on four counts will be served consecutively and the fifth will be served concurrently.

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"He won't see the parole board for 35 years," Jones said.

Jones said the victims in the case investigated last year by Berkeley County Sheriff's Department Deputy Sgt. B.F. Hall were satisfied with the sentencing terms.

Complaints initially filed by Hall alleged that Bowman, beginning in 1989, engaged in sexual acts with two different females. One of the victims told Hall that she was a victim of Bowman's sexual acts as recently as 2003, according to court records.

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