Lima man sentenced to 40 years to life for rape

LIMA — A Lima man was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison in the Allen County Common Pleas Court after a jury found him guilty of 10 counts of rape and five counts of sexual battery of two minors in May.

The sexual battery and rape counts were combined, so Judge Terri Kohlrieser only sentenced Paul Bowman, 48, on the 10 rape counts. Additionally, Bowman must register as a tier-III sex offender for life.

Assistant Prosecutor Joe Everhart said the victims suffered serious psychological harm as a result of years of abuse and Bowman has shown no remorse. He said Bowman’s written statement to the court sounded like victim-blaming and self-preservation. Kohlrieser agreed.

“You are not to blame in the slightest bit. You were not adults, you were not in charge and it was not your job to look out for your best interests; it was his and his alone. And what he has done and what I have seen in his own statement that he wrote to this court is to gaslight you,” Kohlrieser said to the victims.

“He played you like fiddles because you were children that he knew from birth so he knew exactly what to say and exactly what to do, and the only one to blame in this room lies squarely on the shoulders of the 48-year-old father,” Kohlrieser continued. She cited that victims of sexual abuse can also be subject to promiscuity; drug and alcohol abuse; relationships that are never formed properly; and domestic violence.

The first victim gave a statement and wanted Bowman to turn around and look at her. As she gave her statement, she was crying and shaking uncontrollably.

“I have almost no respect for myself because of the things that you did to me,” the victim said.

“I hope you have a reflective surface and you can look at yourself every single day and get reminded of what you did to us, because every time I look in the mirror, all I can see is the other half of my face that looks exactly like you and I’m reminded every time I look at myself,” the victim continued. “You raised me so you knew what made me tick. You knew exactly how to get at me. But with all of that said, I still love you because I’m your daughter.”

The second victim was present but someone else read her written statement.

“I don’t know how I feel. I just know that I’m on my path to forgiving you fully and healing, because not only did I lose myself for this, but I also lost you,” the second victim wrote. “I don’t hate you, and if you allow me when I’m ready, I want you to be in my life, and I just want you to know that I love you and will forever be thinking about you.”

Bowman declined to make a statement.

No DNA evidence was presented during the previous three-day jury trial, only witness testimonies, including the two victims who provided similar testimonies as to how the rape would occur; Bowman’s ex-wife; Bowman’s former boss and Lima Police Detective Jesse Harrod.

Evidence prosecutors emphasized as important included a jail phone call from Bowman to his mother where Bowman asked his mother to help him get his affairs in order and Bowman’s disappearance after Lima police started investigating.

Reach Charlotte Caldwell at 567-242-0451.