published Saturday, August 9th, 2014

3 sex offenders in Hamilton County Jail face charges of violating the sex offender registry law

Three registered sex offenders were booked into the Hamilton County Jail on Thursday after police said they violated Tennessee's laws for sex offenders.

All three men face the same charge of violating the sex offender registry.

The oldest, 60-year-old Gordon Dixon, was arrested after he moved from New York state to Ooltewah and failed to register as a sex offender in Tennessee. State law requires that all sex offenders report within 48 hours of establishing residency in Tennessee.

Hamilton County Sheriff's Office investigators discovered Dixon had been working at Chattanooga's Volkswagen plant for about three months, according to the arrest report.

He was convicted in 1994 of molesting a 9-year-old girl.

A second man, 29-year-old Eric Bowman, was arrested after repeatedly hanging around restricted areas such as schools, day cares and parks, according to the arrest report. Bowman, who is homeless, was once located on the front steps of the Creative Discovery Museum downtown.

He pleaded guilty to sexual battery of a 16-year-old girl in 2012.

The third man was arrested for failing to register his vehicle as required by state law. Dale Steven Bunker, 58, told investigators he'd owned the motorcycle for three years, but he never registered it to the sex offender registry. He pleaded guilty to attempted rape of a 7-year-old girl in 2001.

Both Bunker and Bowman have violated the sex offender registry before, according to the affidavits. Bunker was sentenced to two years in prison as part of a plea agreement in 2013 for violating state sex offender laws.

Bowman entered a plea for violating the registry in May, and was sentenced to two years in prison to be suspended after serving 90 days.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 or with tips or story ideas.

about Shelly Bradbury...

Shelly Bradbury covers police and crime in Chattanooga and Hamilton County for the Times Free Press. She's been with the paper since 2012, working first as an intern and then as a business reporter. She is from Houghton, New York, and graduated from Huntington University in Huntington, Indiana, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and minor in management. Before moving to Tennessee, Shelly previously interned with The Goshen News, The Sandusky Register and The Mint ...

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