DOBSON — A Superior Court judge delivered a split sentence to a Lowgap man convicted of sex crimes against a minor in a hearing Wednesday, meaning he’ll spend eight months of active jail time, along with other penalties.
The defendant, Lewis Dean Lowe, 61, of Navy Lane, pleaded guilty to two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child and one count of sexual battery.
According to evidence summarized by the state in court, the victim was a relative of the defendant.
The offenses, which occurred on two separate occasions in February and April of this year, involved inappropriate touching.
The victim’s family was present for the hearing, and, through prosecutor Mike Beal, asked the judge to give Lowe as much time in prison as possible within the limits of structured sentencing and the terms of the plea agreement.
“As you can imagine, this is a difficult situation with the family,” Beal stated, describing the crime as “heinous.”
The victimized family had agreed to terms of the agreement and the split sentence, which divides the punishment into both active time and probationary portions.
Anticipating the defense’s request that the sentence be lighter due to Lowe’s early acceptance of responsibility for the crimes, Beal pointed out the broken trust within the family.
“Any mitigating factors are outweighed by the damage done,” the prosecutor said.
Charles Briggs, Elkin attorney representing the defendant, spoke on his client’s behalf before sentencing.
“I agree with what Mr. Beal said and I think Lewis would agree,” Briggs said. “I don’t know if that wound can ever be healed.”
Briggs informed the judge that his client had confessed when questioned by detectives.
“He didn’t wait until judgment day, he didn’t wait until Mr. Beal made an offer,” he said. “That’s a mitigating factor.”
Presiding Judge Eric Morgan, of Forsyth County, however, sentenced the defendant in the presumptive range.
Lowe spoke before Morgan delivered the sentence.
“I’d just like to say I’m truly sorry I’ve hurt my family the way I have,” he said.
The defendant was given a suspended 19- to 32- month prison sentence and placed on supervised probation for 3o months.
The judge ordered Lowe to serve eight months in the Department of Adult Corrections for the active portion of the split.
Minus 111 days for time served, that totals about 4.5 months.
Morgan recommended the defender receive any sex offender treatment available while incarcerated.
After his release, Lowe is required to register as a sex offender for 30 years and to submit to warrantless searches for child pornography in addition to the regular terms of probation.
He is also to have no contact with the victim or the victim’s family.
Sexual assault and domestic violence information
The National Sexual Assault Hotline can be reached at 800-656-HOPE or online.rainn.org.
The Surry County Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault crisis line is 336-356-2014.
According to information provided by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network:
• Fifty-five percent of sexual assaults occurred at or near the victim’s home.
• Three out of four rapes are committed by someone known to the victim.
• Two out of every three sexual assaults go unreported to police.
• One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.
• Fifty-seven percent of perpetrators are white, 27 percent black.
Reach Terri Flagg at 415-4734.