The attorney for a Weleetka minister charged with molesting five girls in his church says that his client tickled and pinched the girls affectionately, but had no sexual intent and did not realize his actions made the girls uncomfortable.
An Okfuskee County jury agreed, finding Marvin James Lowe, 57, not guilty of nine counts of lewd acts with a minor in Oklahoma. However, the jury did find Lowe guilty of six lesser misdemeanor charges of domestic abuse. Lowe's Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer says that the charges against his client were the result of one girl's complaints to a friend.
He says that the family was affected by the hysteria surrounding the unsolved murders of Skyla Whitaker, 11, and Taylor Placker, 13, only a mile from the Arbeka Indian Baptist Church where Lowe was minister. According to Lowe's attorney, there was never any evidence of sexual abuse.
Lowe's own children testified in his defense, saying that their father is an affectionate man who liked to tickle, pinch, and touch them, but that such physical contact was never sexual and never made them uncomfortable. Lowe's family and attorney say that the allegations of Oklahoma lewd molestation have had a terrible effect on the minister, costing him his reputation, his job, and tens of thousands of dollars in court costs.
Additionally, they say, Lowe is now afraid to be around children, including his own grandchildren. Allegations of child sexual abuse can have devastating consequences, even for those eventually acquitted and vindicated. In sex abuse cases, the constitutional rights of the accused are frequently trampled.
Protecting the Rights of the Accused
In the name of protecting the innocent victim, authorities forget that the accused has rights, too, and is legally to be held innocent unless guilt is proven. Individuals accused of sex crimes against children should immediately seek experienced counsel from a sex crimes defense attorney with a proven record of successful defense in lewd molestation and child sexual abuse cases.