The Polk County Criminal District Attorney's Office Continues to Crack Down on Sex Offenders. On May 28, 2010, Another Sex Offender Got Life in Prison for Raping a 15 Year Old Girl.
Livingston, Texas, May 28, 2010: David Lewis Rowell (foreground) was found guilty of sexual assault of a 15 year old girl.
LIVINGSTON, May 28, 2010 - A child molester with an extensive criminal past was sentenced to life in prison Friday by a Polk County jury.David Lewis Rowell, 53, was found guilty of having sex with a 15 year old girl at his residence in Indian Springs on January 3, 2009.Rowell has served several sentences in prison for a variety of offenses.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office was notified of the attack after the child informed her mother.Rowell was contacted and asked to give a statement.He did so and while he denied having sexual intercourse with the victim he claimed the child performed oral sex on him in return for drugs.The child vehemently denied this Aadmission by the defendant.Rowell was indicted by a Polk County grand jury for both counts of sexual assault and for delivery of a controlled substance to a child.Rowell also claimed to investigators to have traded sex for drugs with the child's mother.
Rowell's video statement to investigators was shown to the jury at his trial on Thursday, May 27, 2010.Rowelltestified at the trial that his whole statement was fabricated by him because Polk County Sheriff's Office investigators, Christi Allen and Craig Finegan, had placed him under duress, a spin cycle and forced him to tell them what they wanted to hear.Rowell could not explain why, if that were true, his confession was for a different offense than alleged by the victim.He also could not explain his waiver, on camera, of his Miranda rights to remain silent and to consult with an attorney.Rowell, who apparently has multiplemedical issues, claimed he was just an old blind guy being victimized by these women.
After being found guilty of having sexual intercourse with a child, Rowell's punishment was determined by the jury in a separate hearing on May 28, 2010.At that hearing the State produced evidence of his criminal history.Rowell did not testify or call any witnesses at the punishment hearing.After the sentencing Rowell remarked, "Well, I've been railroaded again".
Rowell was first arrested in 1973, at age 17, by the Houston Police Department for Obstructing Police. Documents for that arrest are no longer available. Later, on December 26, 1973 he was arrested by Houston P.D. for possessing and selling cocaine. A few months later he was arrested, again in Houston, for theft. Later in 1974 Rowell was placed on five years probation for the cocaine possession charge. The charge of selling cocaine was dropped.
Livingston, Texas, May 28, 2010: David Rowell of Livingston is escorted from the Polk County Courthouse following his trial. Rowell will spend the rest of his life in prison.
In 1976, while still on probation for the Harris County charge, Rowell was arrested and sentenced to ten years in prison for Burglary of a Habitation in Gregg County (Longview).In 1991, after his release from prison, Rowell was arrested back in Harris County on a charge of Possession of Synthetic Narcotics.No data is available on the disposition of that charge.
In 1997 the defendant was arrested in Harris County for Deadly Conduct for an incident in which he discharged a firearm at an occupied vehicle.After a jury trial he was sentenced to three years in prison.
In 1998, while out of jail on bond during the appeal of the Deadly Conduct conviction, Rowell was arrested, once again in Harris County, for misdemeanor Possession of Marijuana.Upon his arrest he was discovered to be in possession of a firearm, an additional violation of the law for a convicted felon.Upon researching the weapon, authorities discoveredRowell had made a false statement to a firearms dealer, presumably in order to purchase the weapon.That false statement was made just five days prior to his trial on the Deadly Conduct charge.
Rowell was filed on in federal court for the two firearms violations, and in 1999 was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison.
On May 19, 2008 Rowell was arrested in Montgomery County for possessing a felony amount of marijuana.On November 3, 2008 he was placed on probation for two years .Less than two months later he committed the current offense of Sexual Assault of a Child in Polk County.On May 5, 2010, less than three weeks prior to his trial in Polk County, Rowell tested positive for marijuana at the probation department in Montgomery County.A warrant for his arrest was issued by aMontgomery County district court judge on May 17, 2010.
Polk County juries are showing less and less tolerance for child molesters, and that is a good thing, said Polk County Assistant District Attorney, Joe Martin. As our people become more aware of the realities of child sexual abuse, we will be able to have a greater impact on lessening the occurrence of this tragic and disgusting behavior. This jury did an absolutely phenomenal job. David Lewis Rowell has been a criminal for decades. His life sentence was long overdue.
David Lewis Rowell has a history of run-ins with the law:
Gregg County, 1976: Burglary of a habitation
Harris County, 1998: Possession of marijuana
Harris County, 1999: Possession of marijuana
Harris County, 2003: Federal parole violation
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