Bowman gets two life sentences, not chemical castration

PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- A judge ordered two life sentences for Elmer Bowman on Tuesday. Prosecutors also sought chemical castration as part of the sentencing.

Bowman is one of the few men in Florida who faced chemical castration.

A jury found Bowman, 47, guilty of a 2011 crime in which he picked up a prostitute in Daytona Beach, drove her to his home near Pomona Park in Putnam County, and then hogtied her with rope, beat, tortured, and sexually battered her for 18 hours.

Prosecutor Christina Opsahl said, "She was choked. He struck her, burned her with a cigarette. There was cutting. There was whipping."

The 25-year-old victim was able to escape from the home when Bowman fell asleep.

First Coast News does not typically identify the victims of sexual crimes.

The jury found Bowman guilty of kidnapping and of sexual battery with a deadly weapon causing bodily harm and serious injury last week.

The State Attorney's Office asked for a life sentence and chemical castration.

State Attorney of the 7th Judicial Circuit R.J. Larizza said, "It's an extreme measure and should be used in extreme circumstances, and we believe this was one of those extreme circumstances."

Tuesday, Bowman told the judge he was sorry for the bruises he may have caused, and added "The true reason I'm here is I did not do what she asked me to do. She swore under oath, if I had bought her crack or given her money, she would not have called the law."

The judge didn't buy it and ordered two life sentences, one on each count. Judge Carlos Mendoza did not order chemical castration because it can only be issued if the defendant could be released on probation. With two life sentences, Bowman won't be.

Larizza said, "His threat to public is undeniable. We wanted to use every tool at our disposal to make sure we protect the community from the likes of Mr. Bowman."

In the end, prosecutors got what they wanted: the inability for Bowman to threaten the public again.

"We wanted a life sentence. We want him to stay there," Larizza noted.

The victim was not in the courtroom Tuesday. An anonymous source told First Coast News she felt it was more important to be in rehab. Another source said the victim is trying to better her life.

A 7th Judicial Circuit representative knows of only two other cases in this district in which chemical castration has been ordered.

Prosecutors are also working on other cases involving Bowman, including possession of child pornography and attempted escape from jail.

Prosecutors are also asking that Bowman be deemed a sexual predator. The judge will take up that issue at a later date.


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