Frederick deputy charged with child sex abuse
Victim changed story about relationship, court papers said
A deputy with the Frederick County Sheriff's Office who was assigned to Walkersville High School was arrested Wednesday on charges of child sex abuse and fourth-degree sex offense after he allegedly "engaged in sexual contact" with a 14-year-old girl who attended the school.
According to court documents, Deputy Sam A. Bowman, 46, of New Market became close with the 14-year-old student after she transferred to Walkersville High School from Catoctin High in February.
According to the documents, the girl told investigators conflicting stories about her relationship, and the extent of the alleged sex abuse, with Bowman.
She said Bowman drove her home three times, that he checked on her during the school day, and that he sat with her at lunch because she doesn't know many other students.
The girl also told investigators she talked to Bowman about her sexual activity with boys, which escalated into discussions about the two of them having sex, the documents read.
The girl told investigators that Bowman drove her home from school on March 9. They talked inside his patrol vehicle while parked in her driveway, and began "making out." Bowman then went inside the house and into her bedroom, according to the documents.
Initially, the girl told investigators that she and Bowman had sex but later changed her story, and said they were just "messing around, kissing and fondling each other," according to the documents.
The girl was worried about getting Bowman in trouble and she became quiet after she denied having intercourse, the court papers read.
According to the papers, Bowman's vehicle's on-board computer confirmed the dates when the girl said Bowman came to her house: March 7, 9 and 14. According to that data, Bowman spent 86 minutes at the girl's house on March 9, the day of the alleged incident.
Bowman denied the allegations to investigators, according to the court papers.
He confirmed he has spent time with the girl in his patrol car and even in her bedroom, but that he only touched her once when he gave her a hug at school. He denied seeing her naked and denied that she flirted with him, court papers read.
Bowman told investigators he only went into the girl's bedroom on March 9 because he was worried that she was "huffing," or inhaling, spray paint and said he wanted to check for paint cans in her bedroom, court papers read.
Bowman told investigators he didn't find any paint, and left. He never recorded his concerns or shared them with anyone else, according to court papers.
Soon after March 9, he told investigators he heard a rumor going around school that the girl wanted to have sex with him. School officials asked him about it, but he did not report it to his supervisor and drove her home for the third and final time on March 14, the papers state.
Bowman, who has worked for the Frederick County Sheriff's Office since August 2010, has been suspended without pay, Bailey said.
The Frederick County Bureau of Investigation, a partnership between the Sheriff's Office and Maryland State Police, arrested Bowman Wednesday night and transported him to the Frederick County Adult Detention Center. He was released after posting a $75,000 bond, Bailey said.
According to Bailey, the investigation of Bowman was triggered by a third-party report of a Frederick County sheriff's deputy having sex with a 14-year-old girl from Thurmont. The report was made to Child Protective Services, which contacted the Frederick County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.
Bailey would not specify who made the report.
The Frederick County Bureau of Investigation is working to determine whether he has engaged in other similar incidents, Bailey said. "We are also conducting an internal investigation," she said.
Attempts to reach Bowman on Thursday were unsuccessful. A woman who answered the phone at the residence to which Bowman is listed said he "actually doesn't live here." Online court records do not list an attorney for Bowman.
Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins (R) did not return calls for comment.
Both Walkersville High School and Walkersville Middle School sent letters home to families today informing them about the incident. The principals from both schools stated that they are cooperating with the investigation, and providing counseling for any student who may need to talk about the incident.
The letters also encouraged any parent who has a reason to be concerned about their child's well-being in connection to the matter to call Bailey at 301-600-2534.
While Bowman was assigned to Walkersville High School, he also worked with some students and families at the middle school.