Ex-cop pleads guilty to sex crime

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A former Andalusia police officer and unsuccessful 2006 candidate for sheriff will now have to register as a convicted sex offender after pleading guilty Monday in two separate cases.

Kevin Owens, who was 39 when arrested in 2007, faced charges of sexual abuse, rape, sodomy and intimidating a witness in the incidents following allegations that he engaged in sexual intercourse with a female by forcible compulsion and he subjected a child under the age of 12 to sexual conduct.

On Monday, and moments before his trial was set to begin, counsel was able to negotiate a plea deal in the cases. Owens admitted to the behavior before Circuit Judge Ashley McKathan, pleading guilty to sexual misconduct in the first case and assault III in the second.

Members of the victims’ families were pleased with the day’s outcome.

“I’m just happy he admitted in open court that he was guilty,” said the mother of one of the victims. Her daughter was 3 at the time of the incident, she said. “We didn’t want to push for trial to protect our daughter from any more bad things.”

The state was represented by Trishia Mellburg and Barry Matson, both members of the Office of Prosecutorial Services.

“These families were very patient, and now, very relieved,” Mellburg said. “The victims and their families were able to get closure and move on. They’re the importance of getting this case resolved.”

Owens, who was represented by Monroeville attorney Chris King, was given a one-year suspended sentence, placed on two years of supervised probation and ordered to pay an assortment of fees and fines in each case. The time is to run concurrently.

He was also ordered to refrain from contact with the victims and the victims’ families, as well as unsupervised visitation with any minor while on probation.

Owens is also required to provide the state a DNA sample and to register as a convicted sex offender; however, since sexual misconduct is a misdemeanor offense, it is not required that his information be posted on the online database.