TN candidate for US Senate Thomas K. Owens faces sex chargehttp://www.tennessean.com/article/20120619/NEWS02/306190060/TN-candidate-US-Senate-Thomas-K-Owens-faces-sex-charge
NASHVILLE - A Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate who is charged
with solicitation of a minor had a "severe mental disease" at the time
of his alleged crime, according to a mental evaluation.Authorities
say a 7-year-old girl riding her bike in front of the Johnson City
apartment of Thomas K. Owens one day in May 2011 was invited inside.
According to authorities, the 36-year-old then allegedly hugged the
girl, unzipped his pants and asked her to perform a sex act. The girl
ran home and told her mother, who notified police, authorities added.Owens,
one of several Democratic candidates vying to challenge Republican
incumbent Bob Corker, told investigators the girl had been in his
apartment. As for the allegation, he stated: "I have a problem with
that," but did not elaborate.The Johnson City Press reported that
while the case was in General Sessions Court last year, Owens was sent
to Lakeshore Mental Health Institute for an evaluation to determine
whether he was competent to stand trial.According to the
newspaper, the Lakeshore team determined that Owens was competent, but
concluded: "Mr. Owens was experiencing a severe mental disease or defect
at the time of his alleged crimes. However ... Mr. Owens' severe mental
disease or defect did not impair his ability to appreciate the nature
or wrongfulness of the alleged behavior."
The case went to the grand jury last month.
attorney, David Robbins, told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he
had just gotten the case and was still reviewing it.
"It's too early in the litigation to comment," Robbins said.
Democratic Party spokesman Brandon Puttbrese said the party has not
spoken with Owens or his campaign, and is seeking a "legal remedy to try
to remove his name from the ballot."
"There's no place for a candidate like that on the Democratic ticket in Tennessee," he said.
|Liveleak on Facebook|