Teacher, former Fulton resident accused of having relationship with underage student

A Fulton native has been arrested and charged in a child molestation case in Independence.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced Tuesday that James Nolan Owens, 27, of Lee’s Summit faces one count of felony enticement of a child and a misdemeanor charge of second degree child molestation.

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James Nolan Owens

According to a press release from Baker’s office, Owens — a 2004 Fulton graduate who was a band teacher at William Chrisman High School in Independence — engaged in electronic conversations of a sexual nature with a female student under the age of 15, and subjected her to sexual contact.

The probable cause statement says that the Independence Police Department received a call from William Chrisman High School on Aug. 20, 2012, to investigate a possible sex offense. Upon arrival the officer met with the reporting party, school officials and the 14-year-old victim. The reporting party said his wife saw a Facebook chat between the victim and Owens, who was her band teacher.

The school counselor conducted a brief interview with the victim during that meeting, during which, “the victim advised that she had been involved in a romantic relationship with Owens since March of 2012,” that had involved kissing and touching. The contact allegedly occurred in the school.

According to the probable cause statement, further investigation yielded an archived Facebook chat log between Owens and the victim that indicated sexual contact, as well as a series of more than 100 telephone calls and text messages also. A search of Owens’ residence yielded multiple electronic devices with evidence of contact between the suspect and the victim, including photographs of the victim without a shirt or bra.

Prosecutors requested Owens’ bond be set at $75,000.

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