Bronx, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a former counselor at Henry Ittleson Center in the Bronx has been arrested and indicted on charges he raped and sexually abused three girls in his care.

Willie Bowman (DOB: 05/26/1986) of Wesley Chapel, FL, is charged with:

  • One count of Course of Sexual Conduct against a Child in the First Degree, a class "B" Felony;
  • Eight counts of Rape in the Second Degree, a class "D" Felony;
  • Eight counts of Rape in the Third Degree, a class "E" Felony;
  • Nine counts of Sexual Abuse in the Second Degree, a class "A" Misdemeanor; and
  • Three counts of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, a class "A" Misdemeanor.

Bowman is alleged to have committed these crimes against three girls whose ages ranged between 12 and 14 years, from October 2014 to July 2015. The Henry Ittleson Center is operated by the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services and its programs are licensed by the NYS Office of Mental Health.

“This defendant is alleged to have targeted several vulnerable children, using them for his own sexual gratification,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “He will be held accountable for the severe emotional, mental and moral trauma he has caused.” Gunning thanked the agencies involved in the investigation and who assisted in the apprehension of the defendant, who was extradited from Florida. In particular, Gunning thanked Bronx County District Attorney Darcel D. Clark for her support of this Justice Center-led prosecution and NYPD Detectives James Lusk and John Fogelman, assigned to the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force, who assisted in the apprehension of the defendant.

Bronx District Attorney Darcel D. Clark said, “This defendant used his position as a counselor to allegedly prey on young girls. I support the efforts of the NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs to prosecute those who abuse the especially vulnerable.”

The defendant was arraigned in the Bronx Supreme Court before the Honorable George Villegas, who set $75,000 bail, and he was taken into the custody of the New York City Department of Correction. The case was adjourned to July 18. The defendant was previously terminated from his position at Henry Ittleson.

Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor David Kim is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center investigator Kellie Hanley, with the assistance of John Mullins, Tony Pignataro, Nicholas Ferraro, and Xiomara Villaces.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center has statutory authority to investigate and prosecute crimes against vulnerable New Yorkers.  The agency also assists other law enforcement agencies -- such as the New York State Police, local police departments, and District Attorneys -- with their investigations that involve abuse or neglect of people with special needs.

In addition to its law enforcement authority, the Justice Center is also empowered to pursue administrative actions against staff found responsible for misconduct.   Workers found responsible for the most egregious conduct are permanently barred from employment at facilities serving vulnerable populations under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction.

Justice Center Individual and Family Support advocates provide guidance and information to victims, their families, personal representatives, and guardians about the reporting and investigation process, offer support during criminal court proceedings, and are available to accompany victims during interviews and court appearances.

The Justice Center operates a statewide, toll-free hotline for people reporting allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week. To report incidents of abuse and neglect call 1-855-373-2122.

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 7, 2017   Contact: Bill Reynolds (518) 549-0200