Man indicted in alleged nursing home rape


An area nursing home resident has been indicted in the rape of another nursing home cresident. Newton M. Sowards, 69, was indicted by a Scioto County grand jury.

“He is indicted on one count of rape, a felony of the first degree,” Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn told The Daily Times.

Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said the alleged rape occurred at Concord Nursing Center, 1242 Crescent Drive in Wheelersburg.

“From what we can tell, according to witnesses, it happened some time between 7:45-8 p.m.,” Donini said. “We received a call at 9:16 p.m. from the nursing home. The charge nurse called us alleging that one of the employees had caught one of the residents there engaging in sexual conduct with one of the other residents, which isn’t, in itself, wrong, the only thing is, the victim was a mentally challenged 60 year old woman.”

Donini went through the series of events that happened surrounding the alleged rape. Both the suspect and the alleged victim list their addresses as 1242 Crescent Drive, Wheelersburg, meaning both were residents of the same nursing home.

“A male employee had caught the male (resident) in bed with a mentally challenged (female) adult,” Donini said. “Removed him from the room, took him back to his room, immediately informed his supervisor, who immediately informed us. We dispatched a deputy, then turned around and had a detective come out.”

A detective interviewed Sowards and according to Donini, he gave a verbal confession. He was then brought to the Scioto County Jail, arrested and charged with rape. His bond was set at $100,000.

“The case has been assigned to (Scioto County Common Pleas) Judge (Howard H) Harcha (III),” Kuhn said. “The case will be set for arraignment probably next week sometime.”

Kuhn said Sowards has already obtained the services of an attorney which was retained in Portsmouth Municipal Court.

“Once he’s arraigned, they’ll start the pretrial proceedings,” Kuhn said.

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