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Veterans Adaptive Sports Clinic

The Marion Veterans Administration Medical Center is pictured in June.

MARION — The Chief of Volunteer Services for the Marion VA, Douglas E. Bowers, 55, of Cape Girardeau, was arrested Aug. 22 after felony criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse charges were issued by the Williamson County State’s Attorney’s office.

According to court records, it appears Bowers' arrest stemmed from initial charges leveled against Bowers in July 2016.

Todd Wright, the acting public affairs officer for the Marion VA Health Care System, said those alleged charges were initially made by a teenage girl who worked as a volunteer at the VA.

Wright said that upon notification of the incident, the VA Police immediately conducted an investigation and collaborated with the Illinois State Police Forensic Division. Simultaneously, Bowers was removed from his position and detailed to an off-campus, non-supervisory position, in which his only interactions were with his supervisor.

According to Wright, the VA was unable to take administrative actions against Bowers until the criminal investigation was completed and approved by the State’s Attorney’s office.

Once the VA had that permission, they were able to use the investigative evidence in support of their administrative action, and began the termination process in accordance with the New VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act recently signed into law by President Donald Trump.

According to court records, a formal complaint against Bowers was made Aug. 16, followed by the issue of an arrest warrant on Aug. 18.

After Bowers’ arrest on Aug. 22, he was released upon posting bail.

Bowers next appearance in Williamson County Court is slated for 9 a.m. Sept. 25.

618-351-5074

barb.eidlin@thesouthern.com

On Twitter: @barbeidlin

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