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Saturday, July 26, 2008                                                                                       View Comments

Pastor sentenced to 20 years for sex crimes

DAYTON — A former Riverside pastor convicted of multiple sex crimes against underage females was sentenced Friday, July 25, to 20 years in prison.

"The damage done to the eight victims and their families is enormous," Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge Dennis Langer told Dennis Bowling.

Bowling, 47, who had been pastor of Kingdom Harvest Church, 2360 Valley Pike, Riverside, pleaded guilty June 25 to 15 felonies, including two counts of rape of a child under the age of 13.

Langer said that the victims, which included two of Bowling's relatives, were all between the ages of 12 and 16 when the crimes occurred. The events span 10 years, Langer said.

Under the plea agreement reached between assistant Montgomery County prosecutors and defense attorney Dennis Lieberman, Bowling was to be sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison, without any chance for early release.

Bowling apologized for his conduct, but Langer told him than anything less than 20 years would not be enough.

Several of Bowlings victims gave victim impact statements, and Langer read statements from others. Their stories told of manipulation of their spiritual beliefs and their need for a father figure, leading to sexual abuse, then later feelings of shame, depression and anxiety.

Some spoke of an inability to trust authority figures. Others spoke of a loss of faith in God.

Bowling was also designated a Tier 3 sex offender, requiring both community notification when he moves to a new residence, plus registration with the sheriff's office every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Bowling had been indicted on 90 felony charges. All but 15 were dropped under the agreement. Bowling pleaded to the two rape counts, both first-degree felonies punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

The other charges included eight counts of sexual battery, three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and two counts of gross sexual imposition.