PALATKA, Fla. - After a two-day trial, a Putnam County jury convicted Elmer Bowman of kidnapping, sexual assault and aggravated battery on a young woman he picked up in Daytona Beach.
The victim testified Monday that she was tied up, tortured and raped in April 2011. The defense did not call any witnesses.
"He planned the crime. He drove to Daytona Beach, looking for his prey," Assistant State Attorney Christina Opsahl said. "Everything that happened after the victim got in the car was not consensual."
The jury took only 20 minutes to convict Bowman, who will face life in prison when he is sentenced later this year.
When the victim heard the sounds of her abductor snoring, she watched the clock displayed on a computer. She wanted to make sure he really was asleep before she made her daring escape. After about five minutes, she fled out through the back door, ran across to a neighbor's house and asked them to call for help.
The victim testified about when Bowman abducted her in 2011. She said he put a knife to her throat and told her not to scream or do anything or he would kill her after she got into his truck. He hog-tied her and drove her to his home in Putnam County.
He tied a rope around her wrists, ankles, and neck and hung her to a beam. Bowman placed a tarp below and threatened to kill and bury her. He kicked at the footstool underneath her feet, threatening death by hanging.
He forced her to perform sex acts and beat her in the course of a 17-hour ordeal. Bowman also placed a camera pointed at the victim and hooked it to a computer monitor and a TV and made the victim watch herself being tortured. He hit her with a leather belt, a PVC pipe; burned a cigarette on her inner thigh and used industrial strength C-clamps to inflict a pain she says she never felt before.
In the end, she was strong enough to escape and testify against the defendant in a trial that began Tuesday, prosecutors said.
Bowman is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Tuesday. He faces 25 years to life in prison. The state said it is seeking a life sentence for Bowman and will be asking the court to order a chemical castration.
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