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INS officer sentenced in sexual assault

From Staff Reports

A Jonesboro man has pleaded guilty to assaulting a woman whom he was interviewing for U.S. citizenship.

Kelvin Renard Owens, 34, entered the plea on Friday in U.S. District Court in Atlanta and was sentenced to weekend incarceration in a federal facility for the next six months as well as five years of probation, according to the office of David Nahmias, U.S. Attorney General for the Northern District of Georgia.

On June 1, 2004 Owens, in his capacity as a district adjudications officer with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, was interviewing a 45-year-old female applicant for citizenship at the Martin Luther King Federal Building in Atlanta. During the interview he grabbed the woman and tried to force her to have contact with him.

The woman broke away and reported the incident to federal authorities.

"This case represents reprehensible conduct by a federal employee and it will not be tolerated," Nahmias said in a statement. "The victim in this case not only was making every effort to legally seek her citizenship in this country but was brave enough to fend off an attack from one of the people she needed to help her gain her rightful citizenship."

Owens was also ordered to pay a $2,500 fine.