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Man visiting from Tennessee charged with sexual battery of Tampa Bay 5-year-old

Justin Bowen, 18, of Hendersonville, Tenn., is accused of the sexual battery of a 5-year-old Hillsborough County girl while on a visit with family to Florida. [Hillsborough County Jail photo]
Justin Bowen, 18, of Hendersonville, Tenn., is accused of the sexual battery of a 5-year-old Hillsborough County girl while on a visit with family to Florida. [Hillsborough County Jail photo]
Published Mar. 31, 2018

TAMPA — The 5-year-old Hillsborough County girl was alone for just 10 to 15 minutes with the young man who was visiting her family in mid-February. Her parents had gone outside to get the mail and speak with neighbors, the Sheriff's Office reported Saturday.

But in that short time, visitor Justin Bowen, 18, of Hendersonville, Tenn., had illegal sexual activity with the little girl, according to a news release.

"The victim later told a family member, who then notified HCSO," agency spokesman Cpl. Larry McKinnon wrote. "The defendant returned to Tennessee and declined to cooperate with investigators."

The Sheriff's Office obtained a warrant for Bowen's arrest. He surrendered at the Hillsborough County Jail late Thursday and was booked early Friday on a charge of sexual battery of a victim under age 12.

Jail records show he is 6 feet tall and 200 pounds.

His bail was set at $250,000.