CHARLOTTE - An Eaton County man convicted on six counts of sexual assault will serve at least 40 years in prison.
Justin Earl Bowles, 39, of Charlotte, was convicted by a jury in April on two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and four counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct.
The crimes each involve a victim younger than 17.
During a hearing Thursday in Eaton County's 56th Circuit Court, Judge Janice Cunningham ordered Bowles to serve 40-60 years in prison on the first two counts, and 14-22.5 years on each of the remaining four counts.
He had faced up to life in prison on the first-degree charges. Second-degree criminal sexual assault typically carries a maximum sentence of 15 years but Bowles was charged as a habitual offender because he has three OWI convictions.
All sentences will be served concurrently.
Steven Freeman, Bowles' attorney, said Friday he thinks the punishment is excessive.
"Given the fact that he’s (nearly) 40 years old, 25-40 would be reasonable," Freeman said. "He’d be 65, and the likelihood of him being paroled (the first time) is probably not good."
As it stands, Bowles will first come up for parole when he's nearly 80.
"It serves no rational purpose," Freeman said. "There's no rational basis with respect to the idea of proportionality."
Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd disagreed.
"For what this individual did, without going into specifics, (40 years) was the minimum of what he should have received," Lloyd said. "This was a serial rapist who was raping young children... this individual will not rape another child for at least another 40 years.
Bowles plans to appeal both the sentence and conviction, Freeman said.
Charlotte man to serve 40-60 years for child rape Christopher Haxel Lansing State Journal June 16, 2017
Barboursville man arrested on 10 child sex abuse charges BISHOP NASH The Herald-Dispatch Jun 18, 2017
COLUMBIANA – A 52-year-old Childersburg man is being held in the Shelby County Jail on bonds totaling nearly a million dollars after he was arrested by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office and charged with 18 sex crimes – many of them involving children.