St. Charles County man pleads guilty to soliciting sex from minor

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A registered sex offender from St. Charles County, Missouri on Monday admitted soliciting sex from one minor victim via social media and soliciting child sexual abuse material from another.

Thomas J. Bowles, 47, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis to one count of sex trafficking of a child, two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of production of child pornography, and one count of receiving child pornography. Bowles’ trial was scheduled to begin Monday. 

As part of his plea, Bowles admitted repeatedly contacting a female minor via social media platforms from Jan. 1, 2020, to Aug. 20, 2020. Bowles used aliases which prevented the victim from finding out that Bowles is a registered sex offender. Bowles offered to become the victim’s “sugar daddy” and provide money, a cell phone, and clothing in exchange for sex acts and for providing him pornographic pictures and videos, his plea agreement says. 

Bowles also communicated with a second minor via Snapchat, offering to mentor her in the modeling industry and be her “sugar daddy” and again concealing his identity. In 2020, he met the victim multiple times and gave her cash, liquor, clothing, and prescription drugs in exchange for sexual contact. He also made video recordings on two occasions.

Both victims told Bowles that they were minors, his plea says.

Bowles is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White on Feb. 13, 2024. The government will request a sentence of 40 years in prison. The sex trafficking charge and coercion charges each carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum of life in prison. The production of child pornography charge, as a prior offender, carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 25 years and a maximum of 50 years in prison. The receipt of child pornography charge, as a prior offender, carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 15 years and a maximum of 40 years.

The FBI, St. Charles County Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department, and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jillian Anderson and Nathan Chapman are prosecuting the case.

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