A Woodward educator, former foster parent and minister of the New Covenant Church of Woodward was arrested Monday and charged with three counts of lewd molestation of a female under the age of 13. Edwin Grant Dowty appeared in Woodward County District Court around 2:15 p.m. Monday for arraignment on the charges. He was arrested late Monday morning by Woodward police lead detective in the case, Sgt. Billy Parker and Detective Lt. Chuck Wheeler. The crimes were alleged to have occurred between the years 2005 and 2007, according to an affidavit filed in Woodward County last Thursday. Dowty was arrested after a nearly five month long investigation conducted by Parker in coordination with Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent David Sauls, and Oklahoma Department of Human Services case worker, Rebecca Cole, Wheeler said. The investigation included a forensic interview with the alleged victim, as well as interviews with other children who were near and had ever had contact with Dowty, the affidavit stated. The investigation also included an interview with Dowty, the affidavit stated. ''I think we have a good case," Wheeler said Monday morning. Dowty was arrested on a warrant that called for $150,000 cash bond-$50,000 per count, according to Wheeler. At the arraignment Monday afternoon, Woodward defense attorney, Bartlett Bouse requested Dowty be released on $50,000 personal recognizance (PR) bond. A PR bond does not require a cash deposit, according to Wheeler. Bouse stated that the change in the bond was agreeable with Assistant District Attorney, Don Work. Work agreed with the reduction but asked that it be made with the condition that Dowty, if released, would have no contact with minors. After some conversation between Associate District Judge Joseph Marak, Work and Bouse, Dowty was ultimately released on a $5,000 cash bond with the stipulation that he not have any contact with minors. During the conversation, Bouse argued that Dowty was a well established resident of the community with considerable holdings here and did not pose a flight risk. He went on a mission trip with his church and "he returned knowing that these charges would be filed," Bouse said. "He has fully cooperated..." The reduction in bond visibly angered the family who brought the original complaint. The family attended the arraignment, but cannot be identified to protect the identity of the minor child. Dowty's preliminary hearing was set for September 2, 2008 at 9:30. According to Oklahoma Department of Human Services Director of Communication, George Earl Johnson Jr., the children that were in foster care in Dowty's home earlier this year were immediately removed upon the beginning of an investigation by their own office. ''When we started the investigation three months ago, we removed the children," Johnson said. " The Department of Human Services turned its findings over to the District Attorney's Office nearly three weeks ago." Johnson said it is the Oklahoma Department of Human Services policy to remove children from harm's way if there is even a possibility for concern about the placement. ''As of two weeks ago, the home was officially closed," Johnson said. "Because of possible pending prosecution, the department can have no further statements about Mr. Dowty and or his relationship with the department or any of its clients." Calls and messages left on Dowty's home phone were not returned. Dowty's attorney, Bouse said he cannot discuss the case.
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