Former Huntington Police Captain Dies

Updated 1 year ago by Tony E. Rutherford, News Editor
Bowen's mugshot
Bowen's mugshot

"You may have committed more acts of child rape and abuse than any person in the history of West Virginia, sir," Judge Paul Farrell said at the time of sentencing. "In fact, you may have committed more crimes against persons than anybody in the history of West Virginia."

Former Huntington Police officer , Captain Foster "Pete" Bowen has died.  Capt. Bowen won respect while serving as a member of HPD, but at the age of 80 was convicted of 34 counts of sexual abuse and sexual assault. He was a man in a good guys uniform participating in bad guy conduct. 

Judge  Farrell sentenced him to over 300 years in prison. He was 88 when he died recently, according to multiple sources. 

During his trial in 2011, Judge Farrell said Bowen "led a double life of juvenile bureau commander and child molester."

He would not have been eligible for a parole hearing before 2312. The abuse took place between 1981 and 2003.

At the time of his conviction, defense attorney Jay Love said, “I believe an innocent man has been convicted here today based on very weak evidence, inconsistent evidence, evidence that is so far beyond the realm of belief—logical or common sense.” Former martial arts instructor Danny Lane served as a special investigator for the defense. 

Charles Hatcher was originally Bowen's defense attorney. The former assistant prosecutor had been the lead prosecutor in a headline making murder trial --- that of accountant/millionaire Lyle McGinnis, who was convicted of murdering his wife, Kathy.

Bowen, once regarded as a " pillar of the community" as a basketball coach, golfer, and man of faith,  jurors had to make a decision on  who to believe: "A web of explosive lies ( by unrelated victims citing repressed memories ) or a massive abuse of trust by a respected father figure," wrote WSAZ during his trial.

Prosecutor (and now judge) Chris Chiles said in opening arguments, " Why did an older man have a Sega game system in his bedroom? He wanted to entice them to come to his bedroom," said Chiles. "Either this is the greatest conspiracy since Kennedy was shot or it happened. There's no conspiracy here folks."

For an account of the details of the Bowen case, you can click on this WSAZ link:

Curtis Johnson's Herald Dispatch story is here:

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