Pastor charged with sexual battery not looking for plea agreement

Dennis Bowling accused of committing sex acts on minors in his congregation.

Dayton Daily News/January 11, 2007
By Lou Grieco

Dayton — Even though he now faces 76 total counts, with accusers coming forward from his congregation, Riverside pastor Dennis Bowling is not looking for a plea agreement, his attorney said Wednesday.

"In my discussions with Dennis Bowling, it is my understand that this is a matter that he intends to take to trial," attorney Dennis Lieberman said. "People should not rush to judgment until all the facts have been heard."

Earlier Wednesday, a grand jury indicted Bowling, the pastor of Kingdom Harvest Church, 2360 Valley Pike, on 63 counts of sexual battery, one count of gross sexual imposition and one count of sexual imposition. The last count is a misdemeanor.

In December, Bowling was indicted on 11 counts of sexual battery. In all 74 of the sexual battery counts, Bowling is charged with the part of the statute that covers sexual conduct where "the other person is a minor, the offender is a cleric, and the other person is a member of, or attends, the church or congregation served by the cleric."

Each of those charges is a third-degree felony, carrying a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

In December, police and prosecutors said there were nine to 12 victims, but that there could be more. Montgomery County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Greg Flannagan said late Wednesday he could not release a specific number.

The sexual battery counts in the new indictment cover a wide range of dates from December 1996 through November. The original 11 counts were all from the fall.

The gross sexual imposition count involves sexual contact with a child under 13, and the offense happened between May 1999 and May 2000, according to the indictment. The charge is also a third-degree felony.

The sexual imposition charge involves a child between the ages of 13 and 15 and occurred between May and December 1999, according to the indictment.

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