MILWAUKEE – Denard Rowell, 33, – a registered and recently released sex offender – faces several charges related to inappropriate criminal incidents in early June.
Court documents say Rowell was convicted of indecent kidnapping in Alabama in 2012 and Iowa in 2016. Upon his release from prison in early 2021, Rowell was required to adhere to lifelong GPS tracking under Wisconsin state law and register with the Wisconsin Sex Offender Registry.
According to a criminal complaint, the Justice Department received a warning on June 8 that the GPS tracker “may have been removed and no longer had contact with (Rowell’s) skin”. Later that day, police responded to a Glendale motel from which the tracker reported its location. Nobody opened the door, but Rowell answered the phone and said he wasn’t there – and didn’t give any other information. On June 11th, the tracker was found apparently cut up in the room.
In the days leading up to these events, Rowell is said to have exposed himself on two separate occasions. Another incident happened the same day the tracker was found.
On the morning of June 5, Rowell allegedly exposed himself to a worker in an eyewear shop. The worker said she immediately felt “uncomfortable” with Rowell’s presence because he kept looking at her for about 30 minutes as he rummaged through the store prior to the incident. The worker told Rowell to leave at once; On the way out, it says in the application, he said: “I’ll be back later.”
Two days later, on June 7th, Rowell returned to the store, according to the complaint. A witness said Rowell walked into the store and asked for a display case to be opened. The witness said Rowell “had his hands in his pants” and later exposed himself.
On June 11, the lawsuit stated that a witness saw a man – now identified as Rowell – in a building at Marquette University. The witness said Rowell got off the elevator and sat next to her and stared at her, but she continued to study. Later, she said, she saw Rowell with his hand in his pants and suspected that he was behaving inappropriately because of his hand movements. The witness began packing and leaving when Rowell said to wish “a good weekend” before leaving.
Marquette Police responded to the same building on June 14 and saw Rowell again. The officer asked Rowell to identify himself, to which he allegedly replied, “You all know who I am.” He was taken into custody shortly afterwards. Another crime scene officer that day spoke to several students who said they saw Rowell with his hands in his pants; one student said he saw Rowell there repeatedly, the lawsuit says.
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In an interview with the police, Rowell said he was in the eyewear business, but initially denied exposing himself. He was later shown photos of the incident and confirmed that it was him. When asked about the tracker, he said he removed it because he knew the police were looking for him.
Rowell is charged:
- 2 counts: Indecent and lascivious behavior (indecent exposure)
- 1 point: Indecent and lascivious behavior (sexual satisfaction)
- 1 count: Sex offenders – misidentifying yourself
- 1 count: manipulation with a GPS tracking device
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 6th.
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