A Broward Sheriff's Office detention deputy has been arrested on a warrant from Palm Beach County on charges of sexual battery on a child, according to the sheriff's office.
The alleged victim, who now lives out of town and is married, claims the abuse happened over a period of five years beginning when she was 7 when she lived in West Palm Beach, according to an arrest report.
The alleged victim said she didn't come forward sooner because the suspect, 58-year-old Verol Cowans, drove a BSO marked vehicle and wore what she believed was a police uniform, an arrest affidavit states. But, she also said she was worried Cowans would offend again and did not want that on her conscience, the affidavit said.
Almost two weeks after contacting authorities, investigators said the alleged victim called Cowans and the conversation was recorded during a controlled call for investigative purposes.
A detective assigned to the case said the investigation revealed that Cowans admitted during the controlled call that during the ages of 7 and 11 he had multiple incidences of inappropriate sexual contact with the alleged victim.
“The sexual battery charges Cowans is facing are very disturbing, and I demand lawful, honorable conduct from all BSO employees,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement. “Any employee found guilty of a criminal offense, especially as it relates to the nature of these allegations, will be permanently removed from service.”
BSO said Cowans was originally hired as a BSO detention deputy on Feb. 28, 2005, retired for personal reasons on June 30, 2011, and was rehired as a detention deputy on Feb.11, 2013.
Cowans, who has a Port St. Lucie address, is being held at the Palm Beach County Jail on four counts of sexual battery on a person less than 12-years-old.
In court Monday, a judge denied Cowans bond and ordered him to not have any contact with the alleged victim or anyone under the age of 18.
Cowans has two children under 18, and the judge said he cannot have any contact with them as well, including by telephone.