Minister charged with sex crimes

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 25, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

The assistant youth minister of Magnolia United Methodist Church is facing several child pornography charges.

Portsmouth police on Wednesday arrested Kelly Karl Bowen, 30, of Portsmouth, charging him with nine counts of possession of child pornography and one count of computer solicitation of a minor, said Tucker Martin, a spokesman in the state Attorney General’s office.

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The state office’s computer crime unit has spearheaded the investigation, working with authorities in Portsmouth and Gloucester. Authorities began investigating Bowen several months ago after Gloucester Sheriff’s Department was tipped off that Bowen had child pornographic photographs in his possession.

Bowen, a former elementary school teacher, is an instructional specialist for Portsmouth Public Schools, Martin said. He also teaches at several dance schools throughout Hampton Roads.

Efforts to reach the pastor of Magnolia were unsuccessful.

Thus far, just one person has come forward with allegations, said Martin. But he expects others will come forward in the days.

&uot;We’ve had a lot of calls today,&uot; Martin said. &uot;This is one of those crimes that people aren’t comfortable talking about.

&uot;But sometimes, once it’s made public and people find out what has happened, other people become more willing to tell their stories.&uot;