Cynthia Owenby stated the Henderson County District Attorney’s office environment demanded that she and her daughter appear in courtroom March 11 and agree to a plea offer that would let an alleged rapist wander free of charge.
Owenby, who claims her daughter was raped at age 14 in the bathroom of their Hendersonville property by a Jonathan Clarke Ponton – a male once considered a family members buddy – tearfully informed the Citizen Moments on March 9 that she and her daughter have been additional victimized by Henderson County Assistant District Lawyer Doug Mundy.
Owenby claimed that Mundy told her and her daughter, Trina Owenby, now 18, that they were to show up in court docket the early morning of March 11 and agree to a plea deal that would enable the accused rapist to plea to a misdemeanor cost, with no trial.
“Mr. Mundy kept telling my daughter, ‘I do not think you can manage it. The cross examination is brutal. I will not want anyone violating your rights, I do not want you to be revictimized.’ And I reported, ‘Listen, this is generating her truly feel victimized,'” Cynthia Owenby mentioned.
“I advised him, ‘You’re allowing (Ponton) off on assault and you want to say that a jury is going to revictimize her if they say that they you should not believe that her, but what are you carrying out is revictimizing her,'” she claimed. “He informed me that this was his choice and I did not have a say. That was his specific text to me: ‘I did not have a say.'”
In accordance to the N.C. Crime Victims’ Legal rights Act, Owenby has a “proper to be moderately listened to at court docket proceedings involving a plea that disposes of the situation or the conviction, sentencing, or launch of the accused.”
Violation of the N.C. Criminal offense Victims’ Rights Act is just one for which Henderson County District Lawyer Greg Newman – Mundy’s boss – was disciplined in a North Carolina State Bar disciplinary listening to Nov. 12-13, 2020.
In that situation, the panel identified Newman guilty of lying to a decide and that he failed to notify the victim in a boy or girl rape circumstance brought by Valerie Owenby, who mentioned she was raped and sexually assaulted by a male neighbor from when she was 5-12 decades aged.
The Trina Owenby situation – there is no relation to Valerie Owenby – would be an additional scenario in which Greg Newman, the district attorney for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania counties, and his assistant attorneys have dropped felony boy or girl rape expenses in exchange for misdemeanor assault on a woman, a charge with no jail sentences and no indicator that a boy or girl was harmed.
In accordance to court docket data, Ponton, 26, who has a Black Mountain tackle, was charged with statutory rape of a baby and indecent liberties with a boy or girl, both equally felonies. He was introduced on bond, but did not display up for a courtroom listening to in Oct 2017. Ponton was arrested in September 2019 for failure to seem and has been in the Henderson County Detention Facility considering the fact that then.
Cynthia Owenby stated her daughter was under no circumstances supplied a victim’s rights advocate. She said the spouse and children assumed the justice process was operating for them, and so they by no means retained a law firm.
She explained the family members by no means listened to from the district attorney’s workplace right up until March 5, when Mundy known as to notify her they necessary to discuss at his office March 8.
Owenby stated she satisfied with Mundy and legal assistant Don Reeves, whom Owenby mentioned tried using to convince her into accepting the plea deal, expressing Trina wouldn’t be capable to cope with a demo.
“Reeves just tried using to reassure me that Mundy was wanting out for our ideal passions, he had a daughter, you know, and he seriously does care. But then he will not even pay attention, so I really don’t get that for a next,” Owenby reported.
She was explained to that she and her daughter wanted to speak by cellular phone March 9 with Mundy.
During that discussion, Trina spoke up to Mundy.
“He advised us we experienced the determination no matter whether or not to take the plea deal. We informed him many occasions that we do not (want to just take the plea deal). Then, he switched it and reported it truly is his conclusion and not ours, and we are unable to do anything at all about it,” Trina Owenby said.
“I fundamentally told them that I thought it was unfair and that we are heading to attempt and battle from this of course and demonstrate up in court.”
She stated that Mundy grew indignant, spoke condescendingly to them and “yelled” at her and her mom.
“He told me that (Ponton) doesn’t seem to be like the style to be any type of sexual intercourse offender or pedophile and he’s so young,” Trina Owenby said.
Mundy did not return cellphone calls for remark. Newman, in an e-mail to the Citizen Periods claimed the situation “is nevertheless pending, and I am not about to remark on the information or personal conversations with witnesses. What I can say is that Doug Mundy is a gentleman of impeccable character, and he would never converse to anybody in a threatening method.”
Victims and families of victims in Newman’s judicial district submitted a petition Feb. 11 below a state regulation to have him eliminated from business, declaring his “long-term and unrepentant misconduct.”
The Owenbys say that Ponton served in the army, and the day immediately after he completed boot camp was when he arrived to their home and allegedly raped Trina in the pre-dawn hours although her moms and dads have been sleeping.
Trina said she did not notify her mother and father for a month for the reason that she was “ashamed” and “not comfortable.”
Cynthia Owenby mentioned Trina advised a buddy, whose mom instructed Cynthia.
“I recall her crying and saying she imagined I wouldn’t adore her anymore,” Cynthia explained.
“I am downright terrified,” Trina claimed of the likelihood of Ponton currently being released from jail March 10. “I’m fearful he’ll do it all over again. I’m scared he’s gonna do it to any person else.”
The district lawyer is an elected posture. Newman helps make $137,000 a yr. Mundy tends to make $114,000 a 12 months.
Sexual assault assistance
Safelight: Serving all survivors of interpersonal violence, sexual assault and kid abuse in Henderson County. Call the 24-hour hotline at 828-693-3840.
Buncombe County Family Justice Middle: Connect with 828-250-6900 or go to the middle at 35 Woodfin St., Asheville.
Our Voice (rape and sexual assault crisis centre for ages 13 and more mature): Phone the 24-hour hotline at 828-255-7576 or textual content VOICE or VOZ to 85511.
Karen Chávez has worked as a journalist for 25 decades, together with as an editor and reporter due to the fact 2000s for the Asheville Citizen Periods and United states Right now Network. E-mail her at [email protected] or follow on Twitter @KarenChavezACT
Citizen Times Reporter Derek Lacey and Hendersonville Periods-Information Reporter Rebecca Walter contributed to this report.