Bowen Turner is a 19-year-old man from South Carolina who, since 2018, has been charged with two sexual assaults. To this day, he is free. (Photo: Bamberg County Detention Center)
If you haven’t heard of Bowen Turner, don’t worry, it’s on purpose.
You see, Turner is a 19-year-old man from South Carolina who, since 2018, has been charged with two sexual assaults. In one case, the alleged victim is now deceased. In the other, the alleged victim saw him breach the terms of his house arrest at least 20 times – and learned on Friday he had pleaded guilty to a lesser charge that won’t even get him registered as an offender sexual. There was a third allegation, but law enforcement never filed a complaint. To this day, Turner is free.
And all this proves one thing: the judicial system works very well.
I don’t want to bore you with details, but in 1789 or thereabouts a group of white men decided “establish the courts of law of the United Stateswhich was signed into law by the President, Founding Father George Washington. The system created by white men, for white men, was basically enacted to bring fair and proper justice to white men, because no one else mattered but white men. Slaves (black people) couldn’t even testify against white menand even if they were hit by a white person, they (the slaves, the blacks) could not retaliate. White women were leaps and bounds above slaves, but they were even less than white men. They weren’t allowed to own property, they couldn’t keep their own money, and they couldn’t vote. But they were still considered a person – granted a second-class citizen, but a citizen nonetheless.
Basically, “White Cis-Male Lives Matter”, and not much has changed since then.
Which brings us back to Turner.
In 2018, Turner, then 16, was at a party with Dallas Stoller. Stoller was a popular teenager who was the president of her senior class. Stoller returned from the party, drunk and covered in bruises, and allegedly told her father that Turner had sexually assaulted her.
“It was obviously very upsetting and very discouraging,” said her father, Karl Stoller. told WCSC South Carolina outlet. “And very, I like to use the word ‘tragic’ once we find out who the alleged individual was.”
Turner was arrested and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct in Bamberg County in January 2019, according to public records cited by WCSC. He had to wear a GPS monitor and was released on bail. After only a few months, the judge allowed him to remove the monitor.
Six months after his first arrest, Turner, who was still on bail, was re-arrested and charged a second time with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The victim, who was 16 at the time of the assault, claimed the incident happened at a party in Orangeburg County in June 2019. Although minors are not usually named in the sexual assault cases, Chloe Bess has since come forward to say she was the victim of the alleged assault in 2019.
Chloe Bess claims she came out of the pond house, where the party was taking place, to call a friend when Turner approached her. Bess told authorities that Turner pulled her behind a truck, dragged her to the ground, pulled her shirt down, then removed her pants and underwear and ‘sexually forced’ himself on her .
“I just remember being so petrified, like I was frozen,” Bess said. “Honestly, I just remember sitting there staring at the stars praying it was done, waiting for it to be over, so I could run away.”
Chloe Bess has accused Bowen Turner of sexually assaulting her at a party. (Photo: WCSC-TV)
Turner was initially denied bail. But it was granted after only a few months, and he was given another GPS monitor and placed under house arrest. He only had to leave the house to see his attorney, for mental health appointments, or for a medical emergency. Court documents revealed he violated that order as much wanted — “including 19 trips to golf courses, as well as outings to restaurants, sporting goods stores and even a car dealership,” WCSC reported.
He even left town to visit Columbia and Graniteville. He also took a trip to Brunswick, Georgia, because why not? It’s not like anyone is going to do anything about it.
“[He has] multiple link violations,” says Darren Bess, Chloe’s father. “He was on bail when it happened to Chloe. It’s like he just keeps doing pass after pass after pass.
That may be because Turner’s lawyer is powerful Senator Brad Hutto, who quickly made his way to court to shame Bess.
Of Times and Democrat:
Hutto argued that after the incident, the victim allegedly said, “I was ashamed.”
“Well guess what? You just had sex on the floor with a boy you didn’t really know and you got up and you’re ashamed, you have regrets, it’s not rape,” said hutto.
Hutto said Turner and the victim engaged in mutual sexual behavior at the party.
“She didn’t protest, she didn’t scratch, she didn’t push, she didn’t yell. When asked point-blank if she had said ‘no’, she didn’t. “Didn’t. When asked point-blank if she said ‘stop’, she didn’t,” Hutto said.
And get this: The first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge against Turner in the alleged Stoller incident was dismissed because Stoller died in November 2021 and therefore cannot testify.
Dallas Stoller alleged in 2018 that Bowen Turner sexually assaulted her at a party. She has since died and the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge was dropped. (Photo: Dallas Stoller/Facebook)
“Where are the rights of victims? Brette Tabatabai, Stoller’s sister, asked. “There are no victims’ rights. It’s been 3 and a half years, where are they? And he rejects that because she’s dead.
The Stoller family has not said how Dallas died, but they told WCSC that the gossip and stress of the alleged incident weighed heavily on the young woman even after high school.
On Friday, Turner pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of battery, allowing him to avoid having to register as a sex offender. “Circuit Judge Markley Dennis sentenced him under the Young Offenders Act to a maximum sentence of six years, suspended to five years of probation. The probationary period cannot be shortened,” The Times and the Democrat reports.
“It’s like when you walk into a convenience store and rob it at gunpoint, but then you’re accused of stealing a candy bar,” Bess said.
It’s almost as if America doesn’t want white men to go to jail. I mean America surely knows that white men commit crimes, but they are less likely to serve time in prison for their misdemeanors. I know. Seems like I’m basing my entire position on guesswork and hyperbole, so let’s look at the stats. According to a study carried out by The color of justice, “Black Americans are incarcerated in state prisons at nearly 5 times the rate of white Americans.” And, more importantly, “In 12 states, more than half of the prison population is black: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia “.
And if you want to argue that Turner was a teenager when he allegedly sexually assaulted, let’s look at those numbers as well.
“Black youth are more than four times more likely to be detained or committed to juvenile facilities than their white peers, according to national data collected in October 2019 and recently released. In 2015, the incarceration rate for black youth was 5.0 times higher than that of their white peers,” according to a study by the Sentencing Project.
“Forty-one percent of youth in care are black, even though black Americans make up only 15 percent of all youth in the United States. Black youths are more likely to be in custody than white youths in all but one state: Hawaii. »
Throughout the time I worked on this piece, I kept trying to figure out when Bowen Turner attended Stanford and when he joined the Stanford swim team. And then it occurred to me that I thought of Brock Turner, another white man charged with sexual assault who served about three months in prison even after two college students found him on top of an unconscious woman and held him there until the police arrived. The judge felt that a longer sentence would have had a “serious impact” on Turner. Brock Turner and Bowen Turner are not related. I just have a bad memory of white men escaping jail for horrible crimes.
“I believe in my heart that there is a good possibility that things would be different if things were done the way they were meant to be – if justice was served the way it was meant to be,” Tabatabai said.
I don’t know how to tell Tabatabai that justice has been served. The justice system did exactly what it was designed to do.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Karl Stoller as Turner’s father.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.