Suspect arrested for possession of Child Pornography
Gurnee – This morning, with the assistance of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Mitchell S. Rowan, 23, of Beach Park, was taken into custody on felony charges for possession of Child Pornography.
On March 6, a Gurnee Police Explorer advised the Explorer Post Operations Advisor that Rowan, a Gurnee Police Explorer Associate Advisor and Community Service Officer, had been inappropriately communicating with minors through text messages and social media. When the Operations Advisor of the post was made aware of the allegations, he immediately reported it to police administration and a criminal investigation was initiated.
Rowan was immediately terminated from his position with the police department following the allegations. Police Chief Brian Smith also met with the members of the Gurnee Police Explorer Post and their parents to advise them of the ongoing investigation.
In mid-March, numerous search warrants and subpoenas were obtained for Rowan’s electronic device and social media accounts. By May, the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office Cyber/White Collar Division assisted with the recovery and investigation of approximately one terabyte of data from the electronic device and social media accounts examined. Gurnee detectives began a thorough investigation into these documents and conducted additional follow-up as further evidence was discovered.
The victims, whose names are being withheld, were 16 years old and were members of the Gurnee Explorer Post.
Upon completion of the investigation, the case was presented to the State’s Attorney’s Office for review. The Cyber/White Collar Division reviewed the facts of the case and issued a felony warrant for Rowan’s arrest.
Rowan was arrested and booked on three counts of possession of Child Pornography, a Class 3 felony, and is being held on $100,000 bond.
Booking photo provided by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.
All suspects accused of a crime are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.