A Sidney man was sentenced to prison time Tuesday afternoon in Shelby County Common Pleas Court, following his conviction in February of rape and kidnapping.
Judge James F. Stevenson passed sentence for the two first-degree felony convictions against Robert Edward Bower, 65, 1933 Riverside Drive, after Bower made a statement that he had put himself in a bad position, and he apologized to his victim for his actions. Bower also thanked the court for allowing him to be released on bond pending his sentencing.
Bower was sentenced to a mandatory eight years in prison and also will be required to register as a Tier III sex offender for the rest of his life.
A jury returned a verdict of guilty against Bower on Feb. 7, just shy of one year after the crimes occurred.
According to testimony given by the victim during trial, Bower invited her and some friends to his pizza place in Fort Loramie during the early morning hours of Feb. 23, 2014, after a night out on the town, but the then-26-year-old woman was the only one to turn up. The victim told how Bower restrained her at the restaurant and forced oral sex on her before she was able to make her escape, leaving her cell phone, purse and coat behind.
In her terror, she testified, she removed her boots and her light-colored sweater, opting to run through alleyways in socks and a tank top in the freezing cold to reduce her chances of being seen or heard by Bower, whom she feared was pursuing her. She fled to a nearby home, and upon finding a door unlocked, she let herself in and encountered two young girls at home, who allowed her to call 911.
After the jury found Bower guilty on both counts, the court issued an opinion that the two offenses “are allied offenses of similar import committed with the same animus.” For this reason, though he was found guilty on both counts, he was sentenced only for the rape charge.
Following Bower’s sentencing, County Prosecutor Tim Sell noted, “Fort Loramie is one of those places where a young lady should feel safe. Unfortunately for the victim in this case, this time she was not. I’m just glad that in the end, justice has been served.”