Man receives 23 years for sex abuse

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Owens tried to change his guilty plea

By Thomas Barr

 BROOKS - A 76-year-old man could serve the next 23 years in prison for the sexual abuse of several youngsters dating back to 1959.

Gerald Owens had already entered a guilty plea on four of six counts and was set for final sentencing on Thursday.

However, before Circuit Judge Rodney Burress could complete the formal proceedings, Owens declared that he wanted to withdraw his guilty plea and go to trial.

On Feb. 24, 2011, Owens entered an Alford plea on three counts of immoral or indecent practices and a guilty plea to sexual abuse.

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