Independence man charged with sex crimes after luring teen with secretary job

Picture of Robert Cowan Jr.

Picture of Robert Cowan Jr. from the Jackson County jail.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A man from Independence has been charged with seven sex crimes after attempting to lure a teenager through the promise of a job.

Robert C. Cowan Jr., 51, is charged with one count of patronizing prostitution of a minor (14-18 years old) and six counts of furnishing (sending) pornographic material to a minor.

Police reported that Cowan approached two teens at a fast food restaurant and asked if they wanted jobs, according to court documents. The male teen would be a “driver” and the female 16-year-old would be the “secretary.”

When the male teen, who is considered a witness, later messaged Cowan about the jobs, Cowan said they could make extra money if the female victim would send nude photos.

The witness contacted police, and a detective assumed the identity of the female victim.

Throughout various messages, Cowan sent pornographic photos and videos of himself. He later asked to have sexual contact, trying to meet the victim. He was reminded several times of the victim’s age.

A SWAT team later converged on Cowan’s home. He answered the door and was arrested. He told his wife it was because he was talking to a girl.

Independence police ask anyone with information about this or other similar incidents to contact them or call (816) 474-TIPS or (816) 474-8477.

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