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Last updated on Saturday, February 9, 2013
(FREDERICKSBURG) - A woman arrested more than a decade ago on numerous felony charges in connection with sexual abuse has been arrested again.
Stephanie Taylor Ferriell, of the Leader Democrat reports, Toni Lewis, 31, Fredericksburg, was arrested earlier this month on a warrant for failure to register as a sex offender.
Prosecutor Dustin Houchin said Lewis had been living in Florida, but had moved back to Indiana and failed to register. He said the current case is the second one filed against her in Washington County since she moved back to the state. The first one was in August 2012.
Failure to register as a sex offender is a Class D felony.
Toni Lewis, then Toni McCowan and 19 years old, was originally arrested in June 2001. She and her then-husband, Terry J. "TJ" McCowan II, who was 26at the time, were charged with a total of 18 felony counts in connection with alleged sexual abuse involving three young girls who had been babysitting the couple's children. The abuse victims were 11, 12 and 13 years old at the time. The case was highly unusual because it involved a couple as perpetrators against three victims.
When interviewed by police, the girls told authorities the couple had performed various sexual acts on them, had instructed them to perform sexual acts on Terry McCowan and had used various "sex toys" in the abuse. When officers searched the McCowans' home, then located on Fredericksburg Road, they found various "sex toys," erotic magazines and nude photographs.
Toni McCowan entered a guilty plea to one count of child solicitation, a D felony, and was convicted and sentenced in 2004 to three years in prison. She was released after serving about a year and a half.
In September 2005, Florida refused to accept Lewis' transfer of probation and she was incarcerated in the Washington County Detention Center to serve the remainder of her sentence. After that, she moved to Florida where in 2009 she was charged with failure to register as a sex offender.
Terry McCowan, now 37, was originally charged with 18 felony counts. He was convicted of child molesting in 2004 and sentenced to eight years. He was released in June 2006. McCowan, who lives in
Floyd County, is required to register for life as a sexually violent predator.
Residents may access the sex offender registry at www.indianasheriffs.org for information on any of the 71 registered sex offenders in Washington County. Visitors may sign up for email alerts when an offender moves into their area. You may also access a hard copy of the sex offender registry 24 hours a day, seven days a week at either the city police department or sheriff's department.
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