Man arrested for graphic text messages

Published 11:44 pm Saturday, May 5, 2007

By Staff
May be targeting real-estate agents
News Editor
A Williamston man was arrested this week and charged with cyberstalking for sending sexually graphic text messages to at least a dozen women in Beaufort County and others in neighboring counties.
Robert David Bowen Jr., 38, of 1691 Bonnie Best Road, Williamston was charged with 12 counts of cyberstalking after an officer with the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office arrested him at his home Wednesday. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office and the Greenville Police Department charged him with one count each of the same offense on Friday.
All of the Beaufort County women “work in the same profession,” according to Capt. Kenneth Watson. Watson said Friday he could not be more specific about the connection the women share because they are “fearful they’ll be targeted again.” But Greene County Sheriff Lemmie Smith said he thought Bowen was targeting real-estate agents.
The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office began receiving reports about the “harassing text messages” on April 24, according to a prepared statement from Thursday. During the course of a roughly weeklong probe, 12 women came forward saying they had received the same or similar messages, according to the sheriff’s office.
The messages sent to the women are described as “sexually graphic,” in the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office’s prepared statement. The messages “put the victims in fear of what the suspect may do next,” according to the prepared statement.
The women did not know Bowen and one or more of them had asked him to stop sending the messages, Watson said. Watson said he could not release how Bowen gained access to the women’s cellular telephone numbers.
Bowen remained in the Beaufort County Detention Center on a $12,000 secured bond as of Friday.
Law-enforcement officials in Beaufort and Greene counties believe Bowen is the only suspect involved in the case, but Greenville police are still investigating the matter.