Sep. 23—CHIPPEWA FALLS — A Chippewa County jury convicted a Chippewa Falls man Thursday of strangulating his girlfriend, then forcing her to have sex with him in January 2018.
Steven M. Bowe, 40, 912 Pearl St., was found guilty of second-degree sexual assault, strangulation or suffocation, and false imprisonment. The trial began Wednesday, and the jury reached its decision after deliberating for about 90 minutes Thursday.
Judge Ben Lane ordered Bowe be taken into custody after the jury read its verdict. Lane set a sentencing date for Nov. 2.
According to the criminal complaint, a woman told Chippewa Falls police on Jan. 20, 2018, that she had been riding in a vehicle with Bowe, and they got into an argument. She took her seatbelt off, deciding to hop out of the car whenever it stopped. However, Bowe grabbed the seatbelt and wrapped it around her throat and choked her. She said she couldn't breathe. The officer observed red marks on her neck.
The woman said when they got back to their home, he forced her to have sexual intercourse with him against her will.
The next morning, she got up and informed Bowe she was leaving him. Bowe stood in front of the door and refused to let her leave. She got to her car, but he blocked that as well. He climbed on the hood and struck it. The officer also observed smear marks on the vehicle that fit with the woman's description of the events.
Bowe was arrested at the time and released on a signature bond; he has been free on bond since. He was determined to be not competent in January 2019, causing the delay in the case. A restraining order also was filed against him in 2019, citing domestic abuse.
Bowe was charged in 2001 with disorderly conduct, substantial battery and second-degree sexual assault of a child. Those charges were later dismissed.