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DECATUR — A Decatur man accused of rape failed in his bid Monday to get a reduction in his $100,000 bail.

Jonathan C.T. Owens, 26, who has been held in the Macon County Jail since his arrest Oct. 9 on a charge of criminal sexual assault, had argued the bail was set too high. He would have to post 10 percent, or $10,000, to be freed.

His attorney, Douglas B. Johnson, told Macon County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Geisler that while the charge against his client was a very serious one, Owens has denied it and is entitled to the presumption of innocence. Johnson said Owens had been “gainfully employed” up to the point of his arrest and had a home waiting for him with his grandparents if bail became affordable.

“One-hundred thousand dollars as set now is excessive,” Johnson said. “... And if this court were to reduce his bond, he would be able to proceed with his life and he would be able to prepare his defense.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Kate Kurtz argued that the bond was set appropriately given the nature of the offense. She pointed to a sworn statement from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office that described how Owens had suddenly forced himself upon a woman he had previously been watching movies and smoking cannabis with the night of May 10, 2017. A sworn police affidavit quoted him as laughing at first when confronted with the charge by police.

But DNA samples from the victim were tied to Owens with what Kurtz described as a level of accuracy equivalent to “1 in 5 quadrillion.”

“This was not only a violent offense but a very serious violent offense,” she said. “And he comes to court with a criminal history that includes violent offenses; he was on probation at the time this offense was committed.”

Geisler said he had considered the arguments, and a “pretrial risk assessment report,” and the $100,000 bond amount would remain unchanged.

“As I look at the bond that was set in this matter, I certainly do not think that $100,000 is excessive given what is in front of the court,” Geisler said.

Owens is due in court for a pretrial hearing Jan. 31.


2018 mug shots from the Herald & Review

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Contact Tony Reid at (217) 421-7977. Follow him on Twitter: @TonyJReid

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Macon County Courts Reporter

Macon County courts reporter for the Herald & Review.

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