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Sex Offender Arrested After Police Said He Admitted To Fondling Himself In Front Of Girls

Reported: Mar. 12, 2014 6:12 PM EDT
Updated: Mar. 12, 2014 6:34 PM EDT
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A registered sex offender in Kanawha County is accused of performing sex acts on himself in front of young girls walking home from the bus stop.

John Rowe, 40, is now charged with three felony counts of displaying obscene matter to a minor.

Slena Priestly stands outside of her home on Neighbors Drive near Sissonville, finally feeling a sense of relief, knowing Rowe is behind bars.

"Thank God," she said. "Somebody's off the streets that could potentially hurt my children, my fiancees two daughters, or any other child in this neighborhood."

Rowe was convicted of five counts of third degree sexual abuse of a young girl in 2008. He lived at 2389 Neighbors Drive.

In February, Charleston police got a complaint Rowe stood behind a window in his home, knocked on it to get the attention of three young girls, and then proceeded to masturbate in front of the girls. The girls, aged 5, 8, and 9 years old, immediately ran home to tell their mom.

"When the children are walking home, they have to bypass his house, he could see them through his window," Sgt. T.M. Divita said.

According to the criminal complaint, Rowe told troopers he had been watching the children and knew what time they got off the school bus. Court documents said he confessed to knocking on the window, and performing the sex act on himself because he was "sexually aroused."

Rowe refused comment to Eyewitness News, but Priestly isn't sitting quiet.

She's thankful her children knew when to speak up and had strong words for Rowe.

"You picked the wrong children, you really did. My three were taught, to never, never not say anything to me. They were told to tell me anything. I hope you rot in jail, I really do," she said.



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