Former University Student Pleads Guilty to Two Rapes.

Ron Welch
Muskingum County Prosecutor


Thursday, December 14, 2023

Former University Student Pleads Guilty to Two Rapes

On December 12th, 2023 in the Muskingum County Court of Common Pleas, Alabama resident and former Muskingum University Student Athlete Z’yon Owens received a twelve-year prison sentence involving the sexual assault of two women on campus.

Z’yon D. Owens, 19, appeared before Judge Mark Fleegle Tuesday morning to plead guilty to two counts of rape.  He was immediately sentenced to the recommended term of twelve (12) years of mandatory prison time, up to an indefinite prison term of fifteen (15) years. He is required to register every 90 days for the remainder of his life as a sex offender.

Owen’s was indicted by a Muskingum County Grand Jury on September 20th, 2023, involving crimes that had just recently occurred in August and September of the 2023 school year. His crimes became known to law enforcement after two separate victims reported being sexually assaulted by Owens. The students involved reported the sexual assaults to Muskingum University personnel. The university personnel referred the case for further investigation and criminal prosecution. 

This case was investigated, charged and resolved in less than four months. The prompt administration of justice in this case is credited to the victims for immediately reporting the sexual assaults. The immediate reporting allowed the Muskingum County Sheriff’s Office to collect physical evidence and interview witnesses who were able to provide important details.

While immediate reporting is not required for the prosecution of sexual assault cases, this case does highlight the value of a victim doing so. It is important to always let someone know where you are going or who you intend to spend time with if you will be alone with someone whom you do not yet know very well.

“It is thanks to the brave young women who made the difficult choice to come forward and engage with our judicial system to seek justice under the law that our community is safer from this predator,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gerald Anderson. “We encourage anyone that has experienced a sexual assault to report it to law enforcement.”

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Former University Student Pleads Guilty to Two Rapes