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Thorpe man admits sexually assaulting boys

A Jim Thorpe man admitted in the county court on Tuesday afternoon to sexually assaulting a young boy on numerous occasions and also a second boy in another incident.

Kevin W. Gowrie, 43, pleaded guilty before Judge Steven R. Serfass to one count each of rape of a child, rape by forcible compulsion, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault.

Gowrie was originally charged with 76 counts for incidents involving a then 12-year-old boy at his residence in the borough. He also admitted sexually assaulting a then 16-year-old boy in Penn Forest Township in another incident.

His plea was actually his second appearance before Serfass to make a plea. On Sept. 1 he was scheduled to enter a plea to the charges before Serfass but changed his mind. At that proceeding his attorney, Elliott Cohen, of Philadelphia, said that Gowrie believes he is innocent of the charges against him. Cohen said that he advised against the decision to go to trial, rather than accepting a plea deal from prosecutors.

But Tuesday as Assistant District Attorney Brian Gazo, the prosecutor in the case, read the facts of the case to support the charges, Gowrie admitted he was guilty. When asked questions about his plea and the facts of the case by Serfass, Gowrie answered “yes, sir,” and “no, sir,” and said nothing else.

Police say there were at least four alleged assaults, which all occurred at Gowrie’s home. Gowrie allegedly raped the victim and forced him to perform sex acts. He also threatened him through social media, allegedly writing, “I know where you live, I know where you sleep.”

In reciting the facts contained in the arrest report by borough Detective Lee Marzen, the arresting officer, Gazo said Gowrie threatened to “hurt and kill” the victims if they told anyone.

Gazo said the assaults occurred in a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and basement of the home. He said each attack has Gowrie performing a sex act on the victim or making the victim perform a sex act on him. The acts occurred in 2016.

Both the 12- and 16-year-olds said that Gowrie had been communicating with them via Facebook for about two and a half years.

The incident with the 16-year-old occurred along Behrens Road in Penn Forest Township on Sept. 2, 2016. The victim said Gowrie communicated with him on social media and arranged to pick him up. They drove around for a while before Gowrie pulled over along Behrens Road. He gave the teen a bottle of vodka and let him drink it. Gowrie then performed a sex act on the victim.

Gazo said the commonwealth agreed to recommend a minimum state prison term of eight years, which he added the 12-year-old victim’s family agreed to.

In the case with the 16-year-old he pleaded to one count of corruption of a minor. There is no agreement on the sentence to be imposed.

Serfass told Gowrie on the rape of a child charge the state sentencing guidelines call for a prison term, at the minimum end in the standard range of between 72 to 240 months with a maximum of 420 months.

Gowrie has a pending driving under the influence charge, which Colon said he would plead to at the time of sentencing on the instant cases.

Serfass deferred sentencing because the charges fall under the provisions of Megan’s Law. Serfass ordered that Gowrie be evaluated by the state sexual assessment board to determine if he is a violent sexual predator.

Serfass said the charges Gowrie pleaded to, under Megan’s Law, all call for him to register for life as a sexual offender.

Serfass also ordered the adult probation office to prepare a presentence investigation report.

Gowrie was returned to the county prison, where he has been held since his arrest, unable to post $100,000 straight cash bail.