Duo arrested after abusing, locking children in closet, Polk County cops say

Deputies say man, girlfriend shaved girl's head, forced her to take drugs


POLK COUNTY, Fla. – A Polk County couple was arrested on Thursday after deputies say they abused an 11 year-old boy and 12-year-old girl by locking the children in a closet, shaving one child's head and drugging her.

Sean Pearson, 33, and his girlfriend, Jessica Rowland, 21, have been charged with six counts of aggravated child abuse and one count of false imprisonment.

Deputies were called to Pearson's home on Lazy Lake Drive East and talked with the 12-year-old girl who said the duo had used forms of "discipline" leaving bruises on her, according to the report.

Pearson and Rowland told deputies they gave the girl Pearson's adult prescription of Depakote on several occasions to "calm her down" because she "gets out of control." When the girl wouldn't take the pills, they would force them down her throat, according to deputies.

Deputies said Pearson would tie the girl's wrists together and to a beam above her head and cover the girl's mouth when she screamed.

According to the report, Pearson and Rowland would also encourage the children to fight each other and made fun of them when they refused.

Pearson, who said he learned forms of child discipline from reading books and "the military," and Rowland were booked into Polk County Jail on no bond.

The children are now in the custody of the Department of Children and Families.

Pearson was arrested in 2005 on sexual battery by suspect over 18 on victim under 12, but the charge was downgraded to child abuse, according to records. He received probation.