Appeals court upholds former Tyre resident’s sex abuse conviction

An appeals court has upheld the conviction of a former Tyre resident who sexually abused two young girls in 2012.

Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch said in a press release the Fourth Judicial Department of state Supreme Court’s Appellate Division in Rochester unanimously affirmed the conviction of Shemariah Owens. A jury found Owens guilty in 2014 of two counts of first-degree sexual abuse, a felony, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.

Seneca County Judge Dennis Bender sentenced Owens to the maximum term of 14 years in prison, calling him an “unrepentant predator.”

Owens, a Binghamton resident, was living in Tyre when he was accused of sexually abusing three girls between the ages of 8 and 10. Two of the girls testified at the trial, which was prosecuted by First Assistant District Attorney Mark Sinkiewicz. Sinkiewicz said the other girl was unable to take the stand; Bender dismissed charges related to her.

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