Addison County resident arrested for possession of child sexual abuse material

VermontBiz The Attorney General’s Office announced that Robert E. Bowdish, 77, of Weybridge, Vermont, was arraigned today on seven felony and two misdemeanor counts of Possession of Child Sexual Abuse Material. The charges brought against Mr. Bowdish are the result of a criminal investigation, including the execution of search warrants conducted by the Vermont Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (VT-ICAC), which included personnel from the Attorney General’s Office, Homeland Security Investigations, and Vermont State Police.

The investigation was initiated when VT-ICAC received multiple CyberTipline reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The tip was reported by Microsoft after an individual uploaded images of child sexual abuse material from an electronic device onto the Bing web search engine to search for similar images of child sexual abuse material, using Microsoft’s Bing image search product. Based on the criminal investigation of that tip, Mr. Bowdish was identified as the owner of the electronic device that uploaded the images of child sexual abuse material onto the Bing web search engine.

Mr. Bowdish pleaded not guilty at his arraignment today in Vermont Superior Court, Addison Unit, Criminal Division. The Court, Judge David R. Fenster presiding, ordered conditions of release which restrict Mr. Bowdish’s access to minors, electronic devices, and the internet.

VT-ICAC investigates cases of child sexual exploitation occurring over the internet, including the production and online distribution of child sexual abuse materials. VT-ICAC also provides forensic examination services, technical assistance, law enforcement training, and public education and outreach.

Every child deserves a safe childhood. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) is the nation’s centralized reporting system for the online exploitation of children. Anyone can make reports of suspected online enticement of children for sexual acts, child sexual molestation, child sexual abuse material, child sex tourism, child sex trafficking, unsolicited obscene materials sent to a child, misleading domain names, and misleading words or digital images on the internet. To make a report, call the 24-hour call center at 1-800-843-5678 or visit https://report.cybertip.org.

Additionally, if you are recovering from child sexual exploitation, you do not have to navigate it alone. NCMEC can help with emotional and peer support, removing content from the internet, and locating mental health professionals. For more information, please visit https://www.missingkids.org/gethelpnow/csam-resources or call the 24-hour call center at 1-800-843-5678.

The Attorney General’s Office emphasizes that individuals charged with a crime are legally presumed innocent until their guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

www.vermontbiz.com