Courts

Top Texas Right to Life Staffer Arrested for Alleged Online Solicitation of a Minor

A major Texas anti-abortion group is getting a lot of bad press.
A major Texas anti-abortion group is getting a lot of bad press. Michael Förtsch on Unsplash
Texas Right to Life, one of the state’s foremost anti-abortion organizations, has a bit of a PR issue on its hands. Starting Wednesday, news began to spread on social media that one of the group’s previous top staffers had been arrested for allegedly attempting to initiate sexual relations with a minor.

Lucas “Luke” Bowen, the former political director for Texas Right to Life, was slapped with charges of online solicitation of a minor, which in the state of Texas means that he was allegedly hitting on someone who’s younger than 17. Authorities in Conroe arrested 33-year-old Bowen earlier this month during a sting operation.

Montgomery County prosecutors filed a complaint outlining the allegations against Bowen, who The Courier of Montgomery County reported is out on a $50,000 bond.

His attorney also told The Courier that Bowen has been complying with the conditions of his bond.

“This investigation revolves around a fictitious alleged minor created by law enforcement and posted on the internet,” attorney E. Tay Bond said Thursday, according to that outlet. “There is not a real victim in the case.”

VICE News pointed out that Texas Right to Life once issued a press release lauding Bowen as a chivalrous gentleman who stayed late to make sure that a female coworker wasn’t left in the office by herself. The release has reportedly since been taken down from the anti-abortion group’s website.

"Upon being notified of the employee's arrest, his employment was immediately terminated by Texas Right to Life," spokesperson Kim Schwartz told the Observer by email.

Texas Right to Life set up a whistleblower website last year so that private citizens could snitch on those they thought had violated the state’s abortion ban. Maybe their next web venture will help to report people suspected of pedophilia.
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Simone Carter was a staff news reporter at the Dallas Observer, graduated from the University of North Texas' Mayborn School of Journalism. Her favorite color is red, but she digs Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.
Contact: Simone Carter

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