GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A Gaffney man was charged with child sex crimes and deputies believe there are additional victims in three counties.
According to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, Robert Lee Sowers, 51, was arrested on two outstanding warrants for criminal sexual conduct with a minor. Sowers is alleged to have committed the crimes with a minor under the age of 11 between November 20, 2017 and November 1, 2019 near Grindall Ford Road in Gaffney.
“She was forced to watch pornographic videos and then she was made to replicate what she had saw the videos and perform those sexual acts on our suspect,” said Sheriff, Steve Mueller.
Sheriff, Steve Mueller, says they believe Sowers targeted children at social events.
“No, he didn’t have a job that allowed him to be near children, just through family friends and acquaintances is how he targeted these particular children,” he said.
Officials say they do not believe this was his first time abusing children.
“Through the investigation of our current victim, we believe that he had shared things with this victim that he’s done in the past. Which leads us to believe that there are other victims, small children that were involved in similar acts,” said Sheriff Mueller.
Sheriff Mueller says with the help of the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office and state investigators, Sowers was booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center Friday. Sheriff Mueller says investigators have been investigating the case for weeks.
“A report came into our office several weeks ago, referenced a victim who alleged that she was sexually assaulted by this individual,” said Sheriff Mueller.
Investigators believe additional victims could be in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union Counties. Parents that may have had children around Sowers need to speak with their children and contact Investigator Daniel Ward at the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office at (864) 489-4722 Ext. 119.
“If you are friends with Robert Lee Sowers, or you’re an acquaintance of his and you spend any time together, whether he’s been at your house or a cookout, or a gathering, or you’ve been to his house. Talk to your children, if your children were present and make sure that nothing occurred,” said Sheriff Mueller.
Anyone with any information about Sowers involved in any criminal activity is asked to please contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 274-6372.