FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – A 23-year-old former University of Saint Francis wide receiver has pleaded guilty to the rape of an incapacitated woman at a house party in the fall of 2011.
Austin Bower pleaded guilty Thursday and will be sentenced to 10 years in prison under the terms of his plea agreement. He will serve six of those behind bars and the other four have been suspended and he will serve them on probation. If he successfully completes the terms of his probation including sexual perpetrator counseling, he can petition the court to have his name removed from Indiana’s sex offender registry.
Bower was one of three men accused in the sexual assault. Alex Beierwalter, 23, pleaded guilty to rape in January and as part of a plea agreement will face no more than three-years behind bars. Troy Turner, 23, pleaded guilty to a felony charge of sexual battery on Tuesday and will be given probation and must undergo sexual perpetrators counseling according to the terms of his plea agreement.
According to court documents, the victim called police saying that she had taken refuge in a bathroom after she had been sexually assaulted. Police found her inside the bathroom of a house in the 2000 block of Neuhaus Drive and they found blood and a used condom inside the bathtub. Bowers DNA was found on the condom later.
The woman told police that she had come to the house with two friends and had consumed a lot of vodka and went to lie down because she felt ill. The next thing she remembered was her pants and underwear being pulled down.
Court documents say that she left a voice mail on a friend’s cell phone saying “Help me. Help me. They’re all over me. They’re holding me down. They’re hurting me”. Police found three photos on Bower's cell phone, one of the woman lying on a bed and being held by a man and two others that appear to show a man sexually assaulting her.
When police brought in Bower for an interview, he defecated in his pants. He denied having any sexual contact with the woman and refused to consent to a DNA test. Beierwalter vomited when police brought him in for an interview and was later caught on video in the interview room trying to clean off his penis.
DNA consistent with Bower’s and Turner’s was found during the course of the investigation.
During the hearing Thursday, Allen Superior Court Magistrate Samuel Keirns’s questions were answered by Bower quietly. Bower’s attorney, Robert Gevers, asked him if he had committed that crime and Bowers answers “correct” quietly.
Keirns ordered Bowers to be taken into custody despite his attorney’s request that he be allowed to remain free on bond until his sentencing next month.
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