(Editor’s note: Although they have been named elsewhere, this newspaper will not print the names of the victim or her family.)
The fate of three Peabody residents, accused of kidnapping and raping a then-14-year-old Peabody teen last summer, is in the hands of a jury.
The jury was to have began deliberations this morning at the Marion County Courthouse after four days of hearing testimony and evidence in the case.
Terry L. Bowen, 63, Kenneth J. Frederick II, 20, and Lora J. Gay, 37, are accused of dragging the teen from a couch in Bowen’s residence at 508 N. Locust St., Peabody, to a bedroom and assaulting her on June 23 or 24, 2010.
The teen testified that she was kicking and screaming during the assault. When her stepfather came to Bowen’s house to pick up his stepdaughter, the assault ended. There was no evidence of bruising on the face or arms of the victim.
The girl had been hired by Bowen and Gay, who were in a relationship, to help the couple clean up a rental property owned by Bowen at 702 N. Locust St., Peabody. Frederick is the son of Gay.
An investigation by Peabody police and Kansas Bureau of Investigation found no DNA or any other physical evidence that linked the defendants to the victim.
Three defense attorneys represented the three defendants individually. David Harger represented Bowen, Don Snapp represented Frederick, and Gary Price represented Gay.
Among the arguments the defense team made was the length of time between the alleged assault and when the victim reported it — nearly three weeks — and that the victim had changed her story twice.
She and her mother initially reported to Peabody Police Chief Bruce Burke on July 13 that Bowen and Frederick had raped the girl. During this attack, Gay was in a computer room. They said the incident ended when the victim’s stepfather came to the house to pick up the girl. The victim claimed that Frederick threatened her life if she told anyone about the assault.
The victim was examined July 16 by Holly Pham, a sexual assault nurse in Wichita. The nurse testified that there was evidence of injuries in the pelvic area. This was disputed by a defense witness. The nurse also said that the victim was concerned that she might be pregnant.
After the exam, the victim was interviewed by Social and Rehabilitative Services child advocate Wilma Mueller.
In that interview, the victim told Mueller that Gay had been in the room during the attack, standing in a doorway.
Burke re-interviewed the victim, and the victim said Gay had been involved in helping carry the victim to a bedroom, helping to hold down the victim during the assault and giving instruction to the men during the assault. Gay was accused of threatening the teen after the assault. The victim also accused Gay of striking her in the face.
In closing arguments, Kliebe told a jury of five women and nine men, including two alternates, that the victim’s disclosures of what happened was a process, resulting in the statements being changed.
Bowen was previously convicted of rape, aggravated indecent liberties with a child, and indecent solicitation against a 12-year-old female in 1994, and numerous sexual crimes against an 11-year-old female and a 15-year-old female, both in 1999.
The victim’s family told the teen to not be alone with Bowen.
Testimony at the trial indicated that which incarcerated in Marion County Jail, Frederick had talked by telephone with an unnamed person about whether DNA could be collected after intercourse if the male did not ejaculate.
Snapp said the conversation proved Frederick’s innocence instead of guilt as the prosecution contended. Reading from the transcript of the recorded conversation, Snapp told the jury to not take the conversation out of context.
The defendants were arrested July 22. Bowen was charged with rape, aiding and abetting Frederick with rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping, and aiding and abetting Gay in battery.
Frederick was charged with rape, aiding and abetting Bowen with rape and aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping, criminal threat, and aiding and abetting Gay in battery.
Gay was charged with aiding and abetting Bowen and Frederick with rape, aiding and abetting Bowen with aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated kidnapping, criminal threat, and battery. She was held on $200,000 bond.
All three defendants have remained in county jail since their arrest.