SKIP TO CONTENT
We use both our own and third-party cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. If you continue to browse, we consider that you accept the use of these.
  • Now offering both In-Person and Virtual Training (check course page for updates)

Crucial Evidence in Child Molest Cases That Is Rarely Disposed Of – Even After 20 Years

There is a psychological compulsion that drives child molesters to relive their sexual fantasies with their victims. This compulsion can often provide the child molest investigator with the best possible evidence to corroborate the victim’s allegations. The case of Harold Sowers demonstrates how a molester’s innate craving to seek and maintain mementos of their victims often ensures that crucial evidence will remain undisturbed, waiting for the investigator to discover it.

Harold Sowers molested the 8-year old victim in 1974. The victim did not report it until 1994 (the year California temporarily lifted the statue of limitations for child molestation). Mr. Sowers posed the nude victim and took photos of him in 1974. A search warrant was later obtained based upon the belief of the affiant’s training and experience that molester’s who take a memento of their victim are more likely than not, reasonably expected to keep them as one of their most prized possessions for life.

When the search warrant was executed, the 8″X11″ framed nude photos of the victim were found in Mr. Sowers’ home-even after 20 years of no contact with the victim.

Due to several appeals, it took 7 years for the case to be resolved, with Mr. Sowers pleading guilty to child molestation in 2001-at the time thought to be the longest time between a crime and subsequent conviction in San Diego County history.

Child molesters will tend to crave and maintain such items as their most prized possessions, often for life. This understanding is invaluable in investigating child molest cases and obtaining corroborating evidence of the victim’s allegations.

It is imperative for investigators to ask victims if any photos were taken of them or traded with the molester. Investigators need to ascertain whether cards, letters, E-mails, gifts, or other writings were exchanged as well. Often these items will be the only evidence available to corroborate the victim-evidence the molester is likely to never throw away as proven by this case. It is hoped that this information may be useful for investigators in obtaining a search warrant in older cases.

Captain Dan Willis (original investigator in case) La Mesa Police [email protected]
(619) 667-7530

 

 

  • This was, by far, one of the most useful training classes I've attended since becoming an investigator.

    —Steven Aiello, Antioch Police Department
  • It not often that you go to a training that you really, really want to pay attention to. Because of the high quality information and style of presentation, I knew that if I looked away I was going to miss out.

    —Quinten Graves, Oregon State Police
  • I highly recommend this training for any Probation staff who have the necessity to interview/interrogate individuals for investigation purposes.

    —R. Bret Fidler, Santa Clara County Probation Department
  • This training provided the useful tools necessary for assessing the veracity of a suspected child abuser, which goes a long way in helping to protect children.

    —Sunny Burgan, MSSW, LCSW, Social Work Supervisor, Santa Clara County DFCS
  • Your training gave me the confidence and tools to interview the suspect for over 5 hours and to bring a closure to the case.

    —Daniel Phelan, San Jose Police Department
  • The information presented was highly relevant to my job and was presented in a manner that was organized and very easy to digest.

    —Michael McGarvey, California State Prison, San Quentin
  • Effective teaching teams! The presentation of the material was consistently interesting, and intelligent without being too intellectualized.

    —Michele Keller, Deputy Probation Officer, County of Alameda
  • Your training has made the greatest and most direct impact on my assignment of any training class that I've taken.

    —Ken Gelskey, National City Police Department
  • Incredible training with amazing real world instruction. I have been taking law enforcement classes for over 30 years and by far this is the best presented and most useful.

    —Det. Brian Dale, Portland Police Bureau
  • Instructional style is engaging and highly effective.

    —George Laing, Fire Prevention Captain, Investigator
  • I will continue to use and pass on this information because I really believe in the instructors and their approach.

    —Kimberly Meyer, Washoe County Sheriff's Department