Documents sealed in case against convicted sex offender

NEWPORT — A Newport man on the state sex offender registry since 1993 for a first degree rape conviction in Lincoln County— and still on post-release supervision for a 2008 kidnapping conviction in Polk County — was charged Feb. 3 in Lincoln County with first-degree sodomy and compelling prostitution. He was already jailed on unrelated charges.

The date or dates and circumstances of the latest alleged crimes are unclear. Under an Oregon law designed to protect the identity of victims of sexual offenses, Judge Thomas O. Branford granted the prosecution’s motion for a protective order, sealing probable cause affidavits and documents containing either victims’ names or descriptions of the nature of the charges, as well as any search warrant affidavits.

The News-Times does not disclose the names of minor victims or victims of sex offenses under any circumstances. 

District Attorney Lanee Danforth said her office could not currently provide any information in the case against Michael Bowers, 53, of Newport, as it is under review. 

According to Oregon Revised Statutes, a person is guilty of first-degree sodomy if they force a person to perform certain sex acts; or they perform those acts with a person who is under 12 years old; a person under 16 and in their immediate family; or a person incapable of consent by reason of mental defect, incapacitation or physical helplessness.

A person commits the crime of compelling prostitution if they use force or intimidation to compel another person to engage in prostitution or attempted prostitution; induce a person under the age of 18 to engage in prostitution; aid or facilitate the commission of prostitution or attempted prostitution by a person under 18; or induce their spouse, child or stepchild to engage in prostitution.

Bowers has been in the Lincoln County Jail since Jan. 7, according to the jail roster. The day prior, he was arrested by Benton County Sheriff’s Office deputies during a traffic stop in Corvallis after dispatch informed deputies Bowers had a parole board warrant, according to the Benton County sheriff’s daily log.

A few days after he was transported to Lincoln County Jail, Bowers was charged with criminal mischief for allegedly cutting off a GPS ankle monitor.

He is currently serving the 36-month post-release supervision portion of a 2008 sentence for first-degree kidnapping and second-degree assault in Polk County, for which he was sentenced to  just over 10 years in prison. He’d pleaded guilty to those charges, with counts of first-degree sodomy, attempt of a Class A felony, and felon in possession of a firearm dismissed by the state. 

That was Bowers’ third stint in the Oregon Department of Corrections. He pleaded guilty in Lincoln County Court to second-degree assault, with the prosecution dismissing two first-degree kidnapping charges, and was sentenced to 70 months incarceration in February 2002. In 1993, also in Lincoln County, he pleaded guilty to first-degree rape and was sentenced to 60 months incarceration, with 20 years of post-prison supervision. Three charges — two counts of first-degree sodomy and one of first-degree kidnapping — were dismissed in that case.

According to court documents, a Newport police officer cited Bowers in September 2020 on the charge of felon in possession of a restricted weapon — a spring-assisted knife that Bowers brought with him to a visit with his probation officer, according to an affidavit of probable cause in that case. He failed to appear for his Oct. 26 arraignment on that charge, was arrested Nov. 13 and granted conditional release Nov. 16. 

Bowers is next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 10 for a preliminary hearing.


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