After three days of deliberations, a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday found a former corrections officer guilty of armed rape and robbery in connection with assaults on prositutes in downtown Washington, but said it was deadlocked over murder and other charges.
Judge H. Carl Moultrie I accepted the jury's partial verdict in the case of Ronald S. Bowyer, 30, but said he would instruct the jury to resume its deliberations today on the remaining counts.
During the two-week trial, the jury of eight men and four women head testimony from five prostitutes - who claimed they were Bowyer's victims - and from Bowyer himself, who denied he assaulted any of the women and contended that he "most definitely" paid for the time he spent with them.
Bowyer also denied the government's charge that he had murdered Gwendolyn Baker, whose body was found a year ago at Vermont Avenue and N Street NW. Bowyer, a former guard at the D.C. jail and at Lorton Reformatory, denied that he knew the woman, who had been shot to death.
During his testimony, Bowyer acknowledge that he carried a 357 magnum revolver in hi scar "for protection." He said, however, that he kept the gun locked in the car's glove compartment and denied government charges that he had used the weapon to threaten women.
In police lineups, police photographs, four of the women identified Bower as their assailant, Asssitant U.S. Attorney John M. Kern told the jury in his closing argument.
Bowyer is charged in an indictment with murder, rape, robbery, sexual assault, and assault with intent to commit robbery while armed. Each of the four charges included in the jury's partial verdict yesterday carries a penalty of 15 year to life in prison, Kern said.
One of the alleged assaults listed in the indictment took place in November 1975. The others occurred in May, June and July of 1977, according to the government's case.
The jury yesterday convicted Bowyer of the 1975 assault, which involved a woman who testified she had been a prostitute since she was 13. The woman is now 20.
Bowyer also was found guilty of the robberies of two women in May 1977, and the rape of one of them.