A sergeant with Florida National Guard was arrested Wednesday on three counts of sexual battery, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.
According to deputies, Edward James Bowman was taken into custody at the Camp Blanding combat training facility in Starke, Florida, where he was stationed as a military policeman.
Bowman is still currently employed, but listed as inactive. The 28-year-old has been with the Florida National Guard for more than 11 years.
“We take the allegations extremely seriously and we are and will continue to cooperate fully with the Clay County Sheriff’s Office,” National Guard spokeswoman Maj. Caitlin Brown said, reports Jacksonville.com. If he is found guilty, Bowman’s employment status will likely change.
Arrest records show that the victims are two boys, ages 8 and 11, although no specific information was available about the younger boy.
Bowman was charged with three counts of sexual battery of a child younger than 12 and is in the Clay County jail on $750,000 bail, according to the sheriff’s office.
According to three separate arrest reports, the CCSO investigation into Bowman began March 5 when the older of the two boys told someone at Florida Department of Children and Families that he had been “touched in a sexual manner.”
Further interviews with the boy revealed an incident on March 3 when he was in the shower at Bowman’s home and realized he was being watched. The victim reported that Bowman then “approached him, grabbing him by the hips and making oral union with his penis … licking his privates.” The defendant then began “French kissing” the child, who asked him to leave; Bowman complied.
As per the report, the 11-year-old said he had been raped by Bowman while on a camping trip during Presidents’ Day Weekend last month. “The victim advised the suspect had penetrated him without a condom,” and the victim was concerned about what he had been exposed to by Bowman.
“The victim’s disclosure of this information was determined to be credible,” read the report.