Charges against Bowers dismissed


NEWPORT — The Lincoln County District Attorney’s office moved to dismiss new charges against a registered sex offender on post-release supervision for a 2008 kidnapping conviction.

Last week, Judge Thomas O. Branford granted the motion to dismiss without prejudice charges of first-degree sodomy and compelling prostitution against Michael Joe Bowers, 53, of Newport. Bowers remains in the custody of the Lincoln County Jail, where he is serving a sanction for violating the terms of his post-release supervision.

Bowers also faces a charge of felon in possession of a restricted weapon for allegedly carrying a knife in his bag when he went to visit his parole officer last fall, the basis of his current sanction. He’s additionally charged with first-degree criminal mischief for allegedly cutting off a GPS ankle monitor after he was released on the weapon charge. His sanction is scheduled to expire March 7, and his bond for the criminal mischief charge is set at $50,000. 

Bowers was arrested Jan. 6 by Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies on a parole board warrant and later transferred to Lincoln County Jail. On Feb. 3, he was arraigned on charges of sodomy and compelling prostitution. A probable cause hearing scheduled for Feb. 10 was canceled when the prosecution moved to dismiss those charges.  

Lincoln County District Attorney Lanee Danforth told the News-Times via email, “Even though the charges were dismissed, the case is still under investigation.”

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