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Dexter man faces up to life in prison for child’s sex abuse

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A Dexter man was sentenced Friday in Jefferson County Court to up to life in state prison for repeatedly sexually abusing a child.

Joseph M. Bowman, 34, was sentenced to 17 years to life imprisonment after being convicted at trial March 8 of predatory sexual assault of a child and endangering the welfare of a child. He had been accused in a grand jury indictment handed up in September of engaging in numerous sexual acts with a 7-year-old girl from October 2009 to June 2010. A jury deliberated less than two hours before returning its verdict following a three-day trial.

Before sentencing, Mr. Bowman repeatedly proclaimed his innocence and pleaded with Judge Kim H. Martusewicz to sentence him to the minimum sentence allowed, 10 years to life. Claiming that Mr. Bowman’s actions “took the innocence away” from the victim, Assistant District Attorney Patricia L. Dzuiba argued for a sentence closer to the maximum allowed, 25 years to life. The victim also read a lengthy statement to the court about what she has been through.

Mr. Bowman’s attorney, Eric T. Swartz, said he will file an appeal.

Mr. Bowman still awaits sentencing in U.S. District Court, Utica, after pleading guilty in June to a three-count indictment alleging that he possessed numerous images depicting child pornography on his computer on July 25, 2010. The investigation into the pornography possession allegations led investigators to the victim of the sexual abuse that became the subject of the County Court trial.

Sentencing in the federal case initially was set for Nov. 8 but was adjourned twice to await the outcome of the state trial. Each of the federal charges calls for a minimum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum of 10 years. According to court documents, prosecutors have asked a judge to impose consecutive sentences, which could bring the maximum sentence to 30 years’ imprisonment. Each count also carries a maximum fine of $250,000. His defense attorney, a federal public defender, has argued for no more than a five-year sentence.

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