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Samwell Fowler, invisible sex offender, resurfaces

6:03 PM, Mar 19, 2013   |    comments
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By Leisa Zigman I-Team Reporter

ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KSDK) - Law enforcement in St. Louis says 25-year-old Samwell Fowler figured out a way to break his parole and avoid signing Missouri's sex offender registry for the past five years.

The question the I-Team started asking is, "How many Samwell Fowlers are out there?"

Public records show Fowler pleaded guilty in 2007 to second-degree sexual misconduct after confessing to exposing himself to a minor.

The judge ordered him to complete sex offender counseling and to register as a sex offender. Fowler signed a document promising to comply and the Judge agreed to give him "un-supervised" probation.

But Fowler blew the courts off and he hasn't been heard from until Monday. That is when St. Louis County prosecutors charged him with luring two girls into his car outside the South County Center mall March 8.

The two sisters, ages 11 and 13, were able to get away and alert authorities. They say Fowler tried to get them to commit a sex act in exchange for money.

St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson explained, "It does tell me he fell through a crack that was in the system. But we need to make sure we are better than that and that we close those cracks."

Chief Dotson believes the issue with Fowler was that he was on unsupervised probation and the courts did not notify police about his mandatory registration.

Sex offenders who leave prison or are on supervised parole have paperwork following them that alerts local police. That didn't happen with Fowler. The question is, how many Fowler's are out there?

Chief Dotson said, "That is a good question and something I'm concerned about. That is why I engaged the courts to ask them how many people out there like that may not have gone to the Department of Corrections or Probation and Parole."

Statewide there are 12,221 registered sex offenders; 1,071 of them are considered non-compliant. That means they registered initially but have fallen off the grid.

While the highway patrol has no idea how many offenders are like Fowler, officials agreed to run a report at our request. That report won't be done until Wednesday at the earliest.

In the meantime, Fowler is in a lot more trouble with authorities. In addition to the South County Center charges, Tuesday he was charged with a felony for failing to register as a sex offender. That class D felony could get him anywhere from one day up to four years in prison.


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