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Brooks man, 74, charged with sex crimes

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By The Staff

BROOKS - The victim remembers spending the night of her eighth birthday with her uncle, Gerald Owens.

The memory of that night is as terrifying as it was so many years ago.

Sleeping on the couch, Owens approached her, putting his hands were they were not supposed to go.

She never told police. A few relatives knew. They probably hoped Owens would grow out of that behavior.

However, when Owens was recently charged with two counts of sexual abuse of two minor males, the victim knew it was time to come forward.

Owens, 74, entered a guilty plea on a pair of misdemeanors. He served 30 days and the rest of the 12-month sentence was probated.

But before Owens could be released from the Bullitt County Jail on Saturday, the Brooks Hill Road resident has been charged with numerous counts of sodomy and sexual abuse.

Det. Scotty McGaha of the Bullitt County Sheriff’s Department said after the recent conviction, several relatives came forward with accounts about Owens committing similar sex acts dating back to the 1960s.

At time point, McGaha said he is expecting to take at least 75 counts of sodomy to the grand jury, as well as numerous sexual abuse charges. He is in the Bullitt County Detention Center on a $150,000 cash bond.

The detective hopes that anyone who may have had some dealings with Owens in the past would come forward if they know of any other sex-related allegations.

“There could be more victims,” said McGaha. “We would like for them to contact us.”

So far, McGaha said four relatives have come forward in the past week or so.

The victim who spoke to the media on Friday said that family members knew of the allegations from the past. But no one wanted to go through the court system.

After the two new allegations, the victim said the others came together and decided to contact police.

“A lot of people were already aware of him being a child molester,” she said.

In the community, it wasn’t a secret. Still it was hard for anyone to come forward.

“I was terrorized,” she said of the initial attack. “It was traumatizing.”

For many years, she didn’t trust anyone.

“I don’t want my children to go through what I went through,” she added.

Whenever her children go anywhere, she is sure to know where and the type of people they will be with.

In coming forward, she said the hope is that he will finally be stopped and that any other victims would come forward.

“We would like to see that he is stopped,” said the victim. “The (jail) time he serves is not enough.”

“He’s molested a lot of children,” she added. “I feel he would re-offend.”

While state laws would require Owens to relocate away from the new Brooks Elementary School if he is ever released, the victim didn’t know if that would be a good idea.

In the Brooks community, Owens is known. But if he is forced to move to a new community, they might not be aware of his past.

Anyone who may have information to tell McGaha may call 543-2514.