If you haven’t heard of Bowen Turner before, don’t fret — that was his intention See, Turner is a 19-year-old South Carolina man who since 2018 has been charged with two sexual assaults. One victim died, and the other watched as Turner violated his house arrest at least 20 times before pleading guilty to a lesser charge that won’t even get him registered as a sex offender.
There was another allegation against Turner but law enforcement never pursued charges; to this day he remains free.
All this evidence points to one thing: The justice system is functioning perfectly
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I won’t bore you with the details, but in 1789 or so a group of white men unanimously decided “to establish the judicial courts of the United States,” which was signed into law by our founding father George Washington.
The system designed by white men, for white men, was ultimately meant to ensure justice was administered fairly and appropriately to them alone since no other constituency mattered. Slaves (Black people) could not testify against white men and even if they were hit by a white person, they couldn’t hit back.
White women were miles ahead of slaves in terms of rights to own property and keep money, yet they still fell below voting rights. Yet even then, these second-class citizens were still considered individuals by society – granted certain privileges but nonetheless still considered human beings.
In essence, “White Cis-Male Lives Matter,” and little has changed since then.
This brings us back to Turner
Bowen turner In 2018, Turner, then 16, attended a party with Dallas Stoller – then 16, an acclaimed student leader of her senior class. When Stoller returned home from the party heavily intoxicated and covered in bruises, she reported to her father that Turner had sexually assaulted her.
“It was deeply upsetting and disheartening,” her father Karl Stoller told South Carolina outlet WCSC. “And very tragic once we found out who the accused 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 was ordered to wear a GPS monitor while released on bond but after only a few months the judge allowed him to remove it.
Six months after his initial arrest, Turner was again taken into custody and charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct. The victim, 16 years old at the time of the assault, claimed it occurred at a party in Orangeburg County in June 2019. While minors are rarely named in such cases, Chloe Bess has come forward to confirm she was indeed the victim of this alleged 2019 assault.
Chloe Bess claims she left the pond house where the party was taking place to call a friend when Turner approached her. According to Bess, Turner pulled her behind a truck, tore off her shirt, undid her pants and underwear, and then “forced himself sexually” on her.
“I remember being absolutely terrified,” Bess recalled. “I literally just remember sitting there staring into the stars, praying for it to end so I could run away.”
Turner initially was denied bond, but that was eventually granted after several months. He was then issued another GPS monitor and placed under house arrest with the sole exception of visiting his attorney, for mental health appointments or medical emergencies. Court documents revealed that Turner violated this order numerous times — including “19 trips to golf courses, restaurants, sporting goods stores, and even a car dealership,” as reported by WCSC.
He even took a trip outside the city to Columbia and Graniteville, as if anyone were going to do anything about him. Additionally, he visited Brunswick, Georgia – why not? After all, nobody was going to do anything about it anyway!
“[He has] multiple bond violations,” Darren Bess, Chloe’s father, states. “When this occurred to Chloe he was out on bond. It seems like he keeps getting passed around.”
Perhaps that is because Turner’s attorney is influential state Senator Brad Hutto, who took to the courtroom to publicly humiliate Bess.
Hutto claimed that after the incident, the victim expressed her shame by saying: “I felt ashamed.”
“So what? You had some sexual activity with someone unknown and got up feeling ashamed or regretful – that isn’t rape,” Hutto replied.
Hutto reported that Turner and the victim had been engaging in sexual behaviors with each other at the party.
Hutto noted, “She didn’t argue or scratch; she didn’t push or shout. When asked whether or not she agreed with something, Hutto noted, she didn’t respond. Similarly, when asked if she meant to stop,’ Hutto didn’t hear any such command.”
And this: Turner has been cleared of the first-degree criminal sexual conduct charge stemming from the alleged Stoller incident because Stoller passed away in November 2021 and therefore cannot testify.
Brette Tabatabai, Stoller’s sister, asked “where are the victims’ rights?” The answer: none. It has been three and a half years – no survivorship rights have been awarded.” Asked why that wasn’t happening now that her sister had passed away, Tabatabai replied with sadness: “There are none.”
The Stoller family did not disclose the cause of Dallas’ passing, but they told WCSC that the gossip and stress from her alleged incident continued to impact her even after high school graduation.
On Friday, Turner pleaded guilty to the lesser offense of assault and battery, saving him from having to register as a sex offender. Circuit Judge Markley Dennis sentenced him under the Youthful Offender Act not exceeding six years with five years probation; however, this term may not be reduced. According to The Times and Democrat, probation cannot be shortened during Turner’s probation term.
“It would be like going into a convenience store and being held at gunpoint, yet you get charged with stealing candy bars,” Bess remarked.
It seems almost as if America doesn’t want white men in jail. Sure, white men commit crimes but are less likely to receive prison time for their offenses. Before I jump to conclusions and hyperbole, let me look at some stats: according to The Color of Justice study,
Black Americans are incarcerated at nearly five times the rate of white Americans in state prisons; moreover, over 50% of prisoners in 12 states are Black: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey North Carolina South Carolina Virginia Virginia
If you wish to assert that Bowen Turner was a minor when he allegedly committed sexual assault, let us examine those numbers as well.
According to nationwide data released in October 2019 by the Sentencing Project, Black youth were four times more likely to be detained or committed in juvenile facilities than their white peers. In 2015, their incarceration rate was 5.0 times greater for Black youth compared to white peers, according to this same study.
“Fifty-eight percent of youths in placement are Black, even though Black Americans make up only 15% of all youth across America. Black youth have been found more likely to end up in custody than white youth in every state except Hawaii.”
While working on this piece, I kept wondering when Bowen Turner attended Stanford and joined the Stanford swim team. But then it occurred to me
Brock Turner is another white man accused of sexual assault who served some time in jail even after two students found him lying unconscious on top of an unconscious woman and held him there until police arrived;
the judge believed a longer sentence would have had an “extreme impact” on Turner. Although Brock Turner and Bowen turner are unrelated, my memory of white men evading prison for horrific crimes may not be accurate.
“I firmly believe that if justice were served as intended,” Tabatabai said, “things could be different.”
I don’t know how to tell Tabatabai that justice has been served. The justice system has done exactly what it was meant to do.