The following press release was issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Southern District of Indiana on Tuesday, November 8, 2022.
EVANSVILLE – Wesley Owen Bowles, Jr., 59, of Evansville, Indiana, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to receipt of child sexual abuse material.
According to court documents, on March 20, 2020, law enforcement investigators learned about the transmission of suspected child pornography using Google applications. An investigation eventually led law enforcement officers to Bowles. Between March 1, 2019, and October 13, 2020, Bowles received and downloaded more than 600 images to his Google accounts depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct including images depicting a prepubescent minor or a minor under the age of twelve years and images involving sadistic or masochistic conduct or other depictions of violence. The Court also imposed a sentencing enhancement because of the defendant’s pattern of sexually abusing or exploiting children. In 1999, Bowles was convicted of sexual abuse of a child in Dubois County, Indiana.
Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Indianapolis, made the announcement.
The FBI investigated the case. The Evansville Police Department provided invaluable assistance. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young following Bowles’ guilty plea. As part of the sentence, Judge Young ordered that Bowles be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for five years following his release from prison. Bowles must also register as a sex offender wherever he lives, works, or goes to school, as required by law.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Shellenbarger who prosecuted this case.
This investigation was conducted by the Indiana Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, a partnership of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies led by the Indiana State Police. The Task Force is dedicated to investigating and prosecuting crimes involving the technology-facilitated sexual exploitation of children and the trafficking of child sexual abuse material. Each year, Indiana ICAC investigators evaluate thousands of tips, investigate hundreds of cases, and rescue dozens of children from ongoing sexual abuse. In fiscal year 2019, the most recent year for which data is available, the Southern District of Indiana was second out of the 94 federal districts in the country for the number of child sexual exploitation cases prosecuted.