By MARY RAINWATER
A local man remained in jail after his weekend arrest by Anderson County Sheriff’s Office deputies for the sexual assault of a disabled juvenile in late March.
According to Sheriff Greg Taylor, the investigation began on March 30, when suspect Wavon Lashelter Owens, 33, of Palestine was arrested for public intoxication.
“Deputy Wes Dean observed a vehicle at the 2700 block of 322 at the entrance to a residence he knew was unoccupied,” Taylor said. “Dean observed two occupants in the vehicle’s back seat and as he approached to investigate, Owens jumped out of the vehicle with his pants down.”
Owens was arrested at the scene for public intoxication, as deputies attempted to identify the other passenger, determined to be a 15-year-old female who was disabled.
“We conducted a forensic interview of the female and determined that she had been sexually assaulted by Owens,” Taylor said. “Owens was charged on (Friday) April 5 and a warrant was obtained for his arrest.
“He was arrested without incident on (Saturday) April 6.”
Owens remained in the Anderson County Jail for the charge of aggravated sexual assault of the elderly or disabled (a first-degree felony). His bond has been set at $150,000.
“We have determined that the victim was known to Owens,” the sheriff said. “This is not a good situation, particularly for the young lady. Just a sick situation.”
The investigation of the case was conducted by ACSO Investigator Ryan Tolliver.
Mary Rainwater may be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org