Porn Protester Changes Plea To Guilty

A Uniontown porn protester has changed his plea to guilty for inappropriately touching a 16-year-old girl and is scheduled to be sentenced in Jackson Superior Court 1 at 10 a.m. next Thursday, Oct. 22.
Melvin Ray Owen, 75, was charged last November with simple battery for reportedly touching a teenage girl’s breast multiple times while she road with him in his truck.
Owen was an organizer and spokesman for the Jackson County Watchdogs, a group protesting the Lions Den, an adult bookstore in Uniontown since the store opened about four years ago.
Owen was arrested on Nov. 2, 2008 after a teenage girl accused him of touching her breast several time while the two rode together in Owen’s truck.
Police were called to the girl’s residence where Owen admitted to the girls’ father and to police that he had touched the teenager several times and that he was sorry for what he had done.
While initially pleading not guilty to the simple battery charge, Owen changed his plea to guilty on Sept. 16, according to Jackson County Deputy Prosecutor Herbert “Pete” Walker.
“It is an open plea, meaning that there was no plea bargain or other inducement to encourage him change in plea to guilty,” Walker said.
Judge Bruce Markel could sentence Owen to up to 180 days in jail for the Class B misdemeanor, the prosecutor said.