Cambria man pleads guilty to sex offense, secures release

September 1, 2020

Ronald John Cowan

A Cambria man, who previously had a lengthy prison sentence for child molestation tossed because of prosecutorial misconduct, is slated to get out of jail as part of a plea agreement.

In 2014, Ronald Cowan was convicted of sodomy, oral copulation and lewd acts with a child and was sentenced to 65 years to life in state prison. He was then sent to the Kern Valley State Prison to serve his sentence.

In 2017, the Second District Court of Appeals reversed Cowan’s conviction, stating SLO County Deputy District Attorney Kelly Manderino committed misconduct by misinforming the jury during her rebuttal of the defense’s closing argument.

“Let me tell you that presumption (of innocence) is over,” Manderino told the jury. Because that presumption is in place only when the charges are read. But now you have heard all the evidence. That presumption is gone.”

According to the appellate court, “It is misconduct to misinform the jury that the presumption of innocence is ‘gone’ prior to the jury’s deliberations.”

The district attorney’s office responded to the ruling by again filing charges of sodomy, oral copulation and lewd acts with a child against Cowan.

As part of Monday’s plea agreement, Cowan plead to one count of committing a lewd act on a child in exchange for an eight-year sentence.

Because of time served, Cowan is likely to be released later this week. He will then spend 10 years on parole and the rest of his life as a registered sex offender.

Every time you can save a client’s life, you feel really good,” said Cowan’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu. “My job is to make sure he doesn’t go to jail for the rest of his life.”

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The DA pled this down to almost nothing. Is this because Tracy Nix previously testified in this case, but since being discredited can no longer testify in court on this or any other case? Is she still employed as a child interviewer at the DA’s office?

In exchange for his plea, San Luis Obispo County prosecutors agreed to dismiss four felony charges including sodomy on a victim 10 years old or younger, and oral copulation on a victim 10 years old or younger.

Read more here:

No concern?

Concern for our DA’s office? Plenty, it is Dows shift and he can’t even accept responsibility for the office and sends someone else to “take one for the team”.

Please Vote.

I’d bet the DA’s office still counts this as a win.

Very sad, for the victim’s(probably more than the one he got caught for) and future victims:(

Pedophiles never stop, with the ten year probation he’ll invariably go back, but after ruining more children’s innocence:(

Thats the price you pay for a DA thats more concerned about promoting his personal beliefs than doing his job.