Uniontown man pleads guilty to molestation

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Selma Times-Journal

A Uniontown man pleaded guilty to sexually abusing two young girls in a Perry County Court Tuesday.

John Cowan, 54, will be sentenced for two counts of sexual abuse in the first degree on Jan. 5, 2006.

“He could get up to 10 years for both,” prosecutor Shannon Lynch said.

Cowan abused a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old in July 2004, Lynch said. He was arrested shortly after the incident on July 31 and released on bond.

He is still free on bond, according to officials.

He pleaded guilty yesterday in Judge Jack Meigs’ court in Perry County. Meigs will sentence him next year.

District attorney Michael Jackson said his office is taking a firm stance on sex abuse crimes and this case is an example of that.

“We’re not going to tolerate anybody committing rape or child molestation,” he said. “These criminals are going to be shipped off.”

Cowan could be sentenced in January but given time to report to state correctional officials, which means he could be free for about a month after sentencing.

Cowan’s attorney, William T. Fail, said the practice was common.

“That’s standard stuff,” he said.

Fail said only “one in 25 cases” actually begin sentencing when a plea is entered.

In some cases, the delay between the trial and sentencing is longer Fail said, when a request for a presentence investigation is filed. In this case, Fail said an investigation was unnecessary.