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Ain’t it Always the Way: Lion’s Den Porn Protestor Arrested On Sexual Battery Charges

CROTHERSVILLE, Ind. — A southern Indiana man known for fighting to uphold the morals of Jackson County was arrested for sexual battery on Nov. 2.

Melvin Ray Owen, 74, is a member of the Jackson County Watchdogs, a group that is dedicated to protesting an adult business in Uniontown 24 hours a day.

Owen was arrested and charged with the sexual battery of a 16-year-old girl. Police said he admitted to the crime, but those who know him don’t believe it.

“It’s not good on the reputation of the protestors,” said Watchdog member Vernon Smith. “I know that and we all know that.”

One thousand, one hundred and ninety-one days and counting — that’s how many days members of the Jackson County Watchdogs have protested the Lion’s Den, an adult business that opened up shop in Uniontown. Group members take pictures of anyone who walks through the doors.

Police arrested Owen on sexual battery charges after they say a 16 year-old girl ran into the police department asking for help.

“I couldn’t hardly believe it, really,” said Smith.

“She was hysterical. She came in here screaming, hollering, hysterical,” said Officer Darryl Hickman of the Crothersville Police Department. “She said, ‘I know no one is going to believe me.'”

Police said Owen was giving the girl a ride and was letting her steer the wheel. They said as he was reaching around her to shift gears, he grabbed her breast.

Investigators said at first, Owen denied it.

“Then the next day we set up a voice stress test for him, and he was going to take a voice stress test,” Hickman said. “The next day, he come in and admitted it, what he done. Said he did grab her several times.”

Hickman said Owen provided an explanation.

“He said that the girl has been coming on to him for several months,” he said. “He said the opportunity was there and he took it and said he was only human.”

“I don’t think he will ever plead guilty in court to this,” Smith said. “I think whatever he said in the police statement, maybe he was all shook up and stuff and didn’t know what he was doing.”

Owen is now out of jail. Police said they don’t feel the charge should have been downgraded.

Sexual battery is a felony charge, while battery, the charge Owen is now facing, is a misdemeanor.

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