Rapist sentenced to life in prison

47-year-old not given chemical castration because of life sentence

PALATKA, Fla. – A Putnam County man convicted of kidnapping, torturing and raping a woman in April 2011 was given to life sentences Tuesday.

Elmer Bowman, 47, was not sentenced to chemical castration, which is what the state was seeking, because he won't be released from prison.

It took jurors about 20 minutes last week to convict Bowman of kidnapping and sexual battery with a deadly weapon after prosecutors said he picked up the 25-year-old victim from Daytona Beach and tied her up inside his Pomona Park home.

Investigators said Bowman threatened to kill the woman, hit her with the PVC pipe and a leather belt, and burned her with a cigarette while using clamps on her body to inflict more pain.

Investigators said the woman was a prostitute but did not agree to anything Bowman did with her.

"The emotional trauma and physical and emotional torture that she went through, Judge, is heinous, atrocious and cruel," Assistant State Attorney Christina Opsahl said of the victim. "When he was making her watch herself on television as she was being burnt with cigarettes, hit with a belt and a pipe, telling her to pick out what tools she wants them to use on her next and then making her carry around the bag of these torture devices that he used on her in this period of time."

The woman escaped 17 hours later after Bowman fell asleep, prosecutors said.

Bowman spoke in his defense.

"I was introduced to a very powerful stimulant, and it drug me into a world of drugs, sex and self-indulgence," he said.

He said the woman made up the story of torture and rape because she wanted drugs and he meant no harm.

"If I am responsible for the contusions on Miss (redacted), then I am truly sorry for it. But it wasn't my intention," Bowman said.

Bowman was facing 25 years to life in prison. Prosecutors asked the judge to give him a life sentence and order a chemical castration using the drug Medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA) if he were to be released.

Chemical castration is used in at least nine states, including Florida, and experts say it's a safe way to reduce a person's sex drive. It's sometimes used on people convicted of child molestation and kidnapping.

The victim was not in the courtroom Tuesday. She was there last week and testified against Bowman, but sources close to the investigation said it was in her best interest to check into rehab this week so she can get her life on track.