A convicted sex offender who eluded police for more than a week last year was sentenced to 30 years in prison Wednesday. A jury found him guilty of sexual assault after a 12-year-old girl in Chester reported she had been attacked.
John Lowery, 43, testified during the trial that he was under the influence of cocaine, crack cocaine, pills and alcohol on Nov. 3, 2013, but claimed he did not attack the child.
However, investigator Tammy Levister and other detectives with the Chester Police Department found DNA evidence on the child’s clothing that clearly linked Lowery to the crime, said Julie Hall, the 6th Circuit assistant solicitor who prosecuted the case during the three-day trial.
Lowery has past convictions for burglary and attacking a girl in Virginia and was on South Carolina’s sex offender registry at the time of the crime.
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The jury needed just 25 minutes to return a guilty verdict, and Judge Knox McMahon sentenced Lowery to the maximum of 30 years in prison.
“We are very relieved that this man is off the street and was convicted,” Hall said after the trial. “He has shown a pattern of this kind of behavior, and the evidence showed that he committed this crime against this child. He showed no remorse.”
After the assault on Nov. 3, 2013, the girl and her family immediately reported the attack to police and Lowery was charged three days later.
Police searched for Lowery for more than a week throughout Chester but didn’t find him until days later, hiding in his mother’s attic.
He had been in jail without bond since his arrest.