Date: May 10, 2011
By Maria Servold
Former Loveland instructional coach Courtney Bowles was sentenced to 10 years intensive supervised probation Monday after pleading guilty to child abuse in March.
Bowles, 31, who worked at Mountain View High School, was caught having sex with a male student in a car at North Lake Park on Jan. 21.
Bowles avoided jail time but Judge Stephen Howard ordered her to perform 80 hours of community service. She also must register as a sex offender.
Bowles will now be allowed to see her children after being kept from them since her arrest, although she still is prohibited from seeing other minors younger than 18 years old, including the victim.
Bowles expressed regret during Monday's sentencing. "I want the court to know how extremely sorry I am," she said. "I appreciate your help and understanding as I work through the probation."
Prosecutor Renee Doak asked Howard to impose jail time for Bowles, but Bowles' attorney Derek Samuelson argued that she has suffered enough because of the case and jail time won't help.
"Ms. Bowles has now been separated from her children for four months," Samuelson said. "(She) is genuinely contrite and has been absolutely devastated by what's happened in this case."
Samuelson said Bowles admits her actions were wrong and she doesn't know why she behaved the way she did in January, noting that the court received several letter of support from Bowles' friends.
"Ms. Bowles is a lovely person who made a huge mistake," Samuelson said. "(Her friends) know her to be an honest, caring, upstanding person and an especially good and engaged mother."
Bowles, who is living in Estes Park, must return to Fort Collins to complete her probation, the court said.
She has a job, Samuelson said, but had she been sentenced to jail time, she could have lost it.
"She's lost her career, she's a convicted felon and has to deal with that stigma for the rest of her life," Samuelson said.
Bowles is in the midst of a divorce case, Samuelson said, and she has had depression issues and was hospitalized at one point.
"Give Ms. Bowles an opportunity to do something productive," Samuelson said. "She needs to make amends with the community."
Doak argued that the victim in the case has dealt with consequences as well.
"His life has been affected by this," she said. "His schooling has been affected by this. He feels like he's being treated differently and might have to change schools."
Howard noted Bowles has suffered because of her mistake, but so have others. "Her reaction to this matter shows she is taking (it) seriously," he said. "But it's clear there was a huge impact on the victim."