A Far Rockaway man was arrested by federal agents on April 26 at his Seagirt Boulevard apartment for allegedly cyber-stalking a young girl from Virginia.
Jorel Fowler, 32, was arraigned in Brooklyn federal court on a complaint charging him with one count of sexual exploitation of children after he allegedly communicated with the minor via Snapchat in February. Prosecutors say he allegedly posed as a 15-year-old boy and convinced the girl to send him nude photos of herself.
The child’s parents called Fairfax County police, who alerted the FBI.
A government investigation identified Fowler as the user of the account and further investigation determined that he had engaged in similar conduct with several other minor victims, according to court filings.
A search warrant executed on the defendant’s Snapchat account revealed conversations between Fowler and multiple minor victims and sexually explicit images and videos, according to federal prosecutors. In several of the conversations, the defendant requests that the victims send him specific images. Fowler made lewd requests to just one of many minor victims including lewd requests made by the defendant to just one of many minors including: “Take off your shirt please,” and, “Show me your panties pants off,” and, “Make me a video.” He also said he would ”teach you how to do a better pic of your [deleted].”
This same victim sent Fowler a video showing what appeared to be her vagina, prosecutors said, which she then rubbed with her hand. Multiple other videos and images recovered from the defendant’s account shows naked images and sexually explicit videos of people who are clearly minors.
When federal agents executed a search warrant at the Fowler’s Far Rockaway residence on Wednesday morning, the defendant did not immediately answer the door, but rather tried to delete data from an electronic device, prosecutors said. Agents were able to enter his residence and retrieve multiple electronic devices, at least one of which contains large amounts of child pornography. One of the devices also contained the Snapchat account used by the Fowler to communicate with and solicit images and videos from the minor victims in this case. The defendant admitted to agents that he had been trying to delete evidence and that they would find child pornography on his devices.
Fowler is no stranger to law enforcement. He had previously been convicted in 2015 for enticing an 11-year-old girl and other young girls to engage in sexual performances via an online “game,” while he was living in Corona. Fowler was sentenced to a term of five to 15 years in prison and he is currently on state parole and required to register as a sex offender.
According to federal prosecutors, Fowler’s prior state sex offense convictions mean that he faces a mandatory minimum of 25 years in federal prison in connection with the current charges.
“The defendant is a serial predator who preys upon young children by soliciting sexually explicit images and videos of their bodies,” U.S. Attorney Breon Peace wrote to U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo. “The safety of the community and the defendant’s substantial risk of flight requires that he be detained pending trial.”
Fowler was ordered detained.