Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

November 23, 2013

Police flooded by calls over day care worker porn arrest

PRINCETON — Mercer County law enforcement agencies — both the sheriff’s department and State Police — received several telephone calls from concerned parents following the arrest of a Princeton day care worker.

Lesley Bowling, 29, of Princeton, was arraigned Friday afternoon on 150 counts of receiving and possessing child pornography before Mercer County Magistrate Susan Honaker. Mercer County Circuit Court Judge William Sadler also denied bond for Bowling.

Mercer County Sheriff D.B. “Don” Meadows as well as Mercer County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ash said that their offices received several calls from concerned citizens on Friday, including some calls from parents of children who went to Lil Camper Dependable Child Care in Princeton.

“We really need to start out by saying that we have not seen anything in the photos that were seized when Detective Cpl. Steven Sommers executed the search warrant that led to Mr. Bowling’s arrest that would indicate there were any local children in the photos,” Ash said. “We have heard from concerned parents, and we would like to talk with them.”

Ash said he and Meadows along with Assistant Prosecuting Attorney George Sitler, a representative from Mercer County Child Protect, Sommers, who is also an investigator with the West Virginia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force want to meet with parents at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 26, at the prosecutor’s office in the Courthouse Annex.

“We want to talk with all of the parents of kids who went there,” Meadows said. “Whether they observed any questionable behavior or not, we would like to talk with them. This is just another part of the investigation. We’re not making accusations about the child care facility or Mr. Bowling.

“The people need to talk with their children before they come to the meeting, but we don’t want anyone to bring any children to the meeting,” Meadows said. “If something like that would become necessary later on, a child could be interviewed by a trained investigator in the proper setting. We want to go over concerns the parents may have at this meeting. We do not want any children there. It’s important to emphasize that.”

Bowling is being held without bond at the Southern Regional Jail in Beaver.

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com

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