Rising Starr MS teacher arrested for incest, child molestation

Tue, 04/15/2008 - 4:06pm
By: Ben Nelms

Craig Bowen in booking photo

Rising Starr Middle School eighth grade social studies teacher Craig Bowen has been arrested by Coweta County law enforcement and charged with three sex-related crimes. As a result, Bowen is no longer employed by Fayette County School System.

Fifty-seven-year-old Bowen, of Senoia, was arrested in Coweta County April 12 on charges of aggravated sexual battery, child molestation and incest, according to Coweta Sheriff’s Investigator Casey Mullis.

Bowen is alleged to have had contact that was sexual in nature with a female relative under the age of 16 between 2000-2003, according to reports. Bowen was initially charged with aggravated sexual battery. Charges of child molestation and incest were added as the investigation proceeded, Mullis said.

The investigation is ongoing and other charges may be pending, reports said.

In a letter Monday to Rising Starr parents, Principal Len Patton noted that Bowen was no longer employed by the school system, adding that the charge “does not involve any students enrolled at Rising Starr Middle School or in the Fayette County School System. Mr. Bowen is no longer teaching at our school.”

Bowen served on the Senoia Planning Commission during the latter part of 2001 and 2002. He also ran against Billy Horne in the race for Rep. Lynn Westmoreland’s vacated Georgia House seat in 2004.

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SomeGuy7's picture
Submitted by SomeGuy7 on Sun, 05/04/2008 - 12:03pm.

Many of you in his class probably would know me as his "Tech person". I have always trusted him and am amazed that he did something like this. He was kinda "off" to many people because of no homework, and other things. He would always tell us side stories of his life (none to do with this) and the class got CRAZY somedays (mainly 7th period - You know who you are Smiling ). However, no one would have guessed this. This has been a bigger topic over the weeks than the CRCT, which always gets people and teachers nervous. This topped it, so it's huge. I went on an overnight field trip with him. Everyone that went said it's creepy that we went. We had just finished learning the Court System, and it was ironic. Mr. Bowen said, "I feel sorry for the people who mess up their lives by doing that kind of stuff." On the Monday we came back, there were so many guesses of what happened. There were serious guesses such as family problems to stupid ones like going to Cuba via rowboat. I feel sorry for him, but at the same time, he messed it up. I do hope this is just an accusation and not real, but it isn't looking good. All you people who are saying, "Glad he's gone!" this is for you. If you knew him for 7+ months like we did, this would seem different to you. To you though, he is just another criminal who should be locked up. He was probably the popular favorite on the school team and now this. I just hope all of you realize if this was your teacher/parent/etc. you wouldn't say that unless you were the victim. I feel very sorry for the victim and their family, so don't think I'm all on Mr. Bowen's side.


Submitted by g-girl on Fri, 04/18/2008 - 5:04pm.

You know what the weird thing is? that everybody use to like him and thought he was a pretty nice cool teacher.. up until now. So why all of sudden your changing your mind? Is it because he's been accuse of the mlestation or that you judge before you really know. As the days are going by I hear comments from other people that once liked him but now doesn't and that to me is sad. We shouldn't stop liking a person based on some fact we don't know is true. You don't judge a person of their bad judgments or mistake but judge their character and what they bring. Mr. Bowen was a very good person and we should pray for him.

hutch866's picture
Submitted by hutch866 on Fri, 04/18/2008 - 5:24pm.

Judgment is a big part of character and I consider incest and molestation very bad judgment and very bad character, we're not talking about running a stop sign here or forgetting a payment on a car or anything like that, we're talking about taking advantage of and abusing a young girl and that's not a mistake but a lifestyle, so save your sympathy for the victim, she needs it more.

I yam what I yam....Popeye

Submitted by ShortField on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 1:10pm.

I hope this is not true. But regardless, I'm praying for this whole family.

Submitted by jointheclubdrew on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 8:49pm.

all i have to say is...georgia on my mind

Submitted by SMHSBandGeek on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 8:15pm.

This is quite a creepy story. He was my track coach back in middle school. Glad he was finally arrested!

Submitted by g-girl on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 7:43pm.

To all the people out their who have heard the news about Mr. Bowen it's quite a shock, but do not judge him. Technically he's been accused that doesn't mean he did it or maybe he did. It's just been reported on someone else's opinions that could be true or not. He was my teacher and never in my life did he seem like that kind of person who would ever do that. Sure he has his awkward moments(but who doesn't). It is just a funny trait that some teachers have. So what, can you blame him for that? NO not necessarily. He was always nice to me and very generous. He always believed that we could do better in everything we do and he always helped us when we had questions on something we didn't get. So why all of sudden did this happen? We are all not perfect, yes we try to be but who is? (except God). Sure if the charges were true he made a BIG mistake, but who hasn't in their life. We should always forgive those who need to be forgiven. That reminds me when he would always say sayings that where important in life ..yet were kinda silly. In a way you would just ponder them and then laugh. We should all pray for his family and friends most importantly for him. One, if he's innocent he has lost everything because of someone's lie and two, if he did do that.. we should pray that God will get through to him to make him a better person. We have all tried to adapt to the situation, but in ways nothing is ever the same without him as our teacher. What it comes down to is that we should not always believe what people or gossip says until we get the facts straight (and I mean crystal clear). WE should not judge people or their mistakes, but forgive what they have done. I'm not saying he did it or not but keep him in your prayers.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:30pm.

No spelling or grammar errors, and no profanities! I have to say I'm probably as surprised as you are.

Sure if the charges were true he made a BIG mistake, but who hasn't in their life.

This country is in even more serious trouble than I thought. I can tell you that the vast majority of people do NOT make these kind of "BIG mistakes." "Who hasn't?" Are you nuts?

In a few days when the investigation gets wrapped-up and some of the facts that Coweta presently is sitting on gets revealed, come on back and discuss this further. Let me tell you right now that he didn't resign his teaching job because he thinks he's innocent and falsely accused.

I don't forgive certain big mistakes. If you'd like to, go ahead. It might sound really nice and looky there's a rainbow and some cotton candy and all that, but I'll pass on the forgiving depraved scum who prey on children.

Submitted by Paul Erwin on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 6:51pm.

He had been hanging around {{{{EDITED}}}} an awful lot lately. Maybe looking for his next victim? Creepy I tell ya

Submitted by fnky mnky on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 4:33pm.

Mr. Bowen was my reading and Ga history teacher i just want to say that I trusted you Mr.bowen how could you.You were my favorite teacher on our team i finally find a teacher who i like then i find out he is a sicko. I hope you learn your lesson and besides everyone at our school hates you right now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Submitted by maddog on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:41pm.

Who knows at this point. Its a sad commentary when he has already been tried and convicted...let the truth come out. Its too easy to assume guilt...human nature I suppose when an adult and child are involved. If he's guilty, then he should suffer the consequences. If not, his reputation is already in the toilet and he will suffer anyway.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:48am.

Standard Citizen "Teacher In Trouble" rules apply:
1. Story hits paper version of The Citizen
2. Adult friends of Craig Bowen show up here to voice support for him
3. The usual suspects will then criticize the adult friends and accuse them of supporting child molesters.
4. Someone will bring up "innocent until proven guilty", will be ignored.
5. After school ends today, a number of Bowen's students will register and post here. About 80-85% will have nice things to say, the remainder will criticize him. Most of these posts will contain profanity and/or bad grammar.
6. The usual suspects will criticize the kids.
7. The kids will fire back at the usual suspects and a Class 3 flamewar ensues.
8. The usual suspects will then vent on DA Scott Ballard.
9. The usual suspects will find a way to blame this on the Democrats. The fact that Bowen once ran for public office as a Republican will be conveniently overlooked.
10. After 3 days this will die down.
11. After trial, or 3 months from now (whichever comes sooner), this blog entry will be resurrected and the same arguments will be re-hashed with a different group of people.
Diagnosing Denise

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:55pm.

You forget... It's the Democrats who conveniently overlook their bad guys. Let it be well known and admitted by a Republican at that time, that THE ACCUSED CHILD PREDATOR BOWEN ONCE RAN AS A GOP CANDIDATE AS A LYNN WASTEMORELAND WANNABE!

There. Are we clear on that point? Now let me move on to fulfill your prophesy on #8.


The Sissy And The Word Defined

Submitted by dogfather on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:42pm.

Sniffles, You're right. You've lived here a while. However I'd be willing to bet that the people that re-hash this as you describe in item 11 will be mostly the same group again. Live to hate. It's a lifestyle.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:56pm.

Predator defenders. Yikes!

Come on folks... where are the advocates for the child victim?


The Sissy And The Word Defined

Submitted by Beach Bum on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:21am.

I have known this family for over 30 years. They are a fine Christian family. I can only hope and pray that instead of rumors and judgement, that we remember them all in our prayers. This family like I said is a wonderful family, they need our prayers and our mouths silenced as they go through this. Anyone that knows them and really knows them will only pray that GOD gives them the strenghth. I for one will never judge and point my finger. I hope it isn't true, but non the less, The Bowen Family is in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Submitted by vovo on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 9:16am.

He has admitted it to his involvment. I know him too. So, there you go with "innocent" until proven guilty. I have no pity for self inflicted wounds. Sociopaths always fool others and teaching and the church are great places for child molestors and sexual deviants to hang out. It's a fact.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Thu, 04/17/2008 - 9:52am.

I had heard the day after he was arrested from a Coweta cop that he had confessed to most of what was alleged already. I figured that likely meant it was indeed true, but in the off-chance it wasn't, I figured it was better to leave that unsaid and let a bunch of people come here and likely make fools out of themselves defending the piece of trash.

Main Stream's picture
Submitted by Main Stream on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 1:19pm.

"They are a fine Christian family."

Why is it always a fine Christian man from a "fine Christian family" who turns out to be a child molester instead of a 'fine atheist' man?

btw - Mr. Bowen has been added to the list at www.BadBadTeacher.com


darrylwd's picture
Submitted by darrylwd on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 10:34am.

We all need to find some time and pray over this entire situation. We need to seek God for some kind of understanding and reasoning, and have hope that no matter what result that comes from this, that those hurting can heal quickly and with little pain.

Submitted by bipbipfool on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:10am.

Craig is a dear friend of mine as well. If the allegations against him are true, then I know that Craig is extremely sorry for his awful mistakes. Please though, out of respect for our justice system, and for Craig as a human, allow him to maintain his innocence until proven guilty. Conjecture, hearsay, and rumor are not reasons to assassinate someone's character. Please allow those with the proper authority to judge him. Your soul will thank you later.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:39am.

First off, I doubt anyone cares whether he's "sorry" or "extremely sorry" or any of that BS. Sorry doesn't matter when it comes to this.

Secondly, it's not "conjecture, hearsay or rumor" that he was charged with, it was three felonies involving child molestation.

He'll get his day in court and then we'll hear the same denials by a few of "I just can't believe it, it's not true" followed by the inevitable pollyanna "it's not our place to judge, only God can" and other pablum while most others hope he is forever removed from society.

Submitted by ptcgossip on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 4:03pm.

It is pretty clear you are a young person trying to act grown up! It is a shame that you haven't been taught to wait for all information to come out. Why do you have so much anger?

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 4:06pm.

I'll take that as a remark from someone who joined here all of 15 minutes ago and thinks they have any clue about anything.

Submitted by ptcgossip on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 4:10pm.

You are going to grow up and be a very bitter, lonely old person.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:16pm.

Thanks for your concern, but don't be a foo and stay in school because you won't make it as a psychic. I'm already about what some might say is "old" and lonely isn't something I can say I've experienced. I have enough responsibilities and family relying upon me that I don't have time to think about what being alone might feel like, though I think it might be nice every now and then. Now, go back to school tomorrow and listen to your classmates drag poor old Mr. Bowen's name through the cesspool some more.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:39pm.

I though the children were supposed to be in bed early this week due to their taking CRCT exams this week. Guess this one will contribute to the declining test scores in Georgia. Dern it. I thought we were starting to make progress in this county.

And gosh. I hope I don't grow up to be some grumpy old lonely man too. Like you, it's kind of nice when she-who-must-be-obeyed takes the kids somewhere and I'm actually alone for a while. Smiling

Cheers old man!


The Sissy And The Word Defined

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:47pm.

I shouldn't be up late picking on students who are our future leaders(??!!) I should instead be enjoying some quality time with the better half:)

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 10:07pm.

All mine are passed out. I'm looking forward to enjoying some time with our new blogger: SHUTUPIMSICKOFTHIS

Heh, heh, heh.......


The Sissy And The Word Defined

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 11:04am.

Hope he stays in PMITA prison for the rest of his sick life.

darrylwd's picture
Submitted by darrylwd on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 1:58pm.

Please make sure that you respond with the same attitude and reasoning as you are responding with now, if a friend or someone you know and trust get's into trouble with the law. AND PLEASE, don't respond with the silly notion that YOUR friends would not be in such a mess.

By the way, love your pic... shaving must be hell for you.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 2:17pm.

Maybe I don't have enough friends, but I don't know of any friend or family member who has been charged with child molestation and incest. I'll make sure to respond in a most unkind manner if it does happen, though.

Git Real's picture
Submitted by Git Real on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 9:46pm.

If he's found guilty, I don't care how sorry he is for preying on a child. I say 'git a rope'.

My heart and prayers go out to the victims of such a heinous crime. Not some old fart who wears his faith on his sleeve along with his past desires to replace Wastemoreland. I'll bet he ran a tough on crime campaign like our DA did while behind the scenes either defending a predator or perhaps sexually abusing a child like our accused. Shocked


The Sissy And The Word Defined

Submitted by TLN on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 6:50am.

Rooroo, he wasn't CHARGED in 2000-2003, that is when the alleged crimes took place.

Submitted by rooroo on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 7:58am.

Thanx TLN!

Submitted by rooroo on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 6:37am.

Somebody please help me understand that if this man was charged with sexual battery in 2000-2003, why on earth was he able to teach?!

My daughter is in 8th grade at RSMS and is also on the track team, makes my blood curdle thinking about it and why it was never addressed- nice back ground checking Fayette County!

Submitted by Krunkdog on Tue, 04/15/2008 - 4:41pm.

He was my teacher this year lozl you should've seen everyone yesterday when his stuff was gone.

Submitted by hijoshm on Wed, 04/16/2008 - 3:33pm.

All I need is 5 minutes with this sick punk and he'll never touch a child again.

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