Granby man convicted of sexual assault, burglary
November 4, 2010
A Granby man has been convicted of burglary, sexual assault and harassment. An 8-day trial ended last week in District Court at Hot Sulphur Springs when a Grand County jury found Chris “Odie” Cowne, now 43, guilty of second-degree burglary, sexual assault and harassment upon charges that Cowne visited the home of a 31-year-old female acquaintance after bar-closing hours on Dec. 22, 2009, and raped her. Cowne, who was represented by Attorney Jeff Herren of Denver, maintained in a police narrative of the incident and throughout the trial that the sex had been consensual.When he recounted the incident to Investigator John Stein of the Grand County Sheriff’s Office during an investigation, according to Stein’s narrative in court documents, Cowne said the victim never had said “no,” saying instead, “I can’t do this because of your wife and kids.” The prosecution argued throughout the trial that the victim had said “no.””She told and asked him on multiple occasions to leave, that he needed to leave, and he did not leave,” said Deputy District Attorney Heather Shwayder Hughes.Cowne had been socializing at SilverCreek’s R&R Bar in the Granby area the same night the victim had been at the bar at a friend’s going-away party.After the victim had left the bar, Cowne showed up at her door uninvited. The victim had known who he was, so she opened the door, according to Hughes.Hughes submitted as part of the evidence multiple text messages the victim had sent that night to friends, asking for help and saying Cowne would not leave her home. After a 34-minute pause in texting – after the alleged rape and after Cowne had left – messages were sent from the victim’s phone asking friends to come to her home to be with her for support.The victim reported the incident the next day to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office. Cowne, husband and father of two, was arrested on Jan. 5, 2010. He posted $50,000 bail three days later.The sexual assault conviction is a class 3 felony, which could mean a sentence of up to a maximum of 32 years in jail and a $750,000 fine. The jury found that the burglary conviction, also a class 3 felony, applied because Cowne allegedly would not leave the victim’s home when asked. It, too, carries a maximum of up to 32 years in jail and a $750,000 fine. The harassment is a Class 3 misdemeanor, which can render a sentence of up to 6 months in jail and up to a $750 fine.Cowne’s sentencing by 14th Judicial District Judge Mary Hoak is scheduled to take place in March.