NEVADA, Mo. —
A Vernon County man is being held on charges that he talked a 16-year-old girl from Georgia into sending him pornographic images of herself and solicited men to have sex with her.
Curt L. Bowman, 42, was arrested Friday at his home near Nevada based on information developed by investigators with the Cobb County Police Department in the Atlanta area.
Local deputies and members of the Southwest Missouri Cyber Crimes Task Force served a federal search warrant on Bowman’s home at 13778 E. Musket Road when they made the arrest. He was arraigned later the same day in Vernon County Circuit Court on charges of sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child pornography. He remained in custody Monday on a $100,000 bond.
Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said Georgia authorities contacted his office recently about the suspected exploitation of an underage girl in Kennesaw, Ga., a suburb of Atlanta, by someone with a phone number in Missouri.
According to a probable-cause affidavit, the suspect, who had met the girl in an Internet chat room, was posing as a female named “Amanda Toben” in communications with her. One of the men allegedly solicited to have sexual contact with the girl told investigators that he was contacted about her by someone with an email address of firstname.lastname@example.org after he had placed an ad on Craigslist.com stating that he was seeking a relationship with a woman with “no strings attached.”
The affidavit alleges that the Internet address associated with the email address belongs to Bowman.
The investigation in Georgia began when the girl’s mother contacted police Feb. 11 to report that her daughter possibly was being used for prostitution. The girl was communicating with someone named “Amanda Toben” via the Internet, and emails between the two contained graphic depictions of the girl engaged in intercourse with adult males, according to the affidavit. The emails indicated that “Amanda Toben” was setting up “dates” for the girl outside her home “while her mother was asleep.”
“Amanda Toben” had sought and obtained nude pictures of the girl for placement on a website to solicit prospective dates. The girl had provided her name, age and address to “Amanda Toben,” who arranged for dates with several men in their 20s and 30s, who would pick her up in front of her house.
A forensic preview of a computer seized at Bowman’s home reportedly revealed several pornographic images of the girl. Under questioning by investigators, Bowman allegedly admitted scheduling four dates for the girl, three outside her home and one inside.
CHILD PORNOGRAPHY and exploitation charges were filed against Curt Bowman last week in state court. But Vernon County Sheriff Jason Mosher said he expects the federal government to assume prosecution of the case involving a victim in Georgia.