Man accused of raping teen with diminished mental capacity

Suspect faces sexual battery charge

George Rowe
George Rowe (Volusia County Sheriff's Office)

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A man repeatedly raped a teenage girl with a diminished mental capacity and exchanged sexual messages with the victim, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said the investigation began Tuesday when a family member noticed the girl was sending sexual emails and text messages with 51-year-old George Rowe, who is a family friend.

Although the girl is 16, she has a learning disability and the mental capacity of a 12-year-old, records show.

When investigators interviewed the girl, they said she told them that Rowe began sexually abusing her in June and since then, there had been multiple incidents of abuse that included rape and him taking explicit photos of her.

She said she didn’t report the abuse earlier because she didn’t want another girl to get hurt, authorities said.

The abuse happened at Rowe’s home in Ormond Beach, according to the affidavit.

A search of the victim’s phone revealed text messages and pictures that corroborated the victim’s story, records show.

Rowe was arrested Wednesday on charges of sexual battery and transmission of harmful material to a minor.

Deputies said no other potential victims have been identified but they are continuing to investigate the case. Anyone with information is asked to call the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office Child Exploitation Unit at 386-323-3574.

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