Skip to main content
Press Release

St. Charles County Man Sentenced to 40 Years in Prison for Soliciting Sex from Minors

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Ronnie L. White on Thursday sentenced a registered sex offender to 40 years in prison for soliciting sex from two minor victims via social media.

Thomas J. Bowles, now 48, of St. Charles County, Missouri, repeatedly contacting a female minor on social media from Jan. 1, 2020, to Aug. 20, 2020. He offered to become her “sugar daddy” and offered money, a cell phone and clothing in exchange for sex acts and for providing him pornographic pictures and videos. 

Bowles also offered to be the “sugar daddy” to a second minor via Snapchat, and claimed he could mentor her in the modeling industry. In 2020, he met the victim multiple times and gave her cash, liquor, clothing and prescription drugs in exchange for sexual contact. He also made video recordings of those sex acts on two occasions.

In a victim impact statement to the court, both victims said Bowles was relentless in his attempts to contact them. “He was obsessed with me, and no matter how hard I tried to get rid of him he would always find another way,” the first victim wrote. He contacted her friends, left voicemails, drop things off at her house and drive by. “It got to the point where I felt like I was always being watched. I was scared for my life because he knew where I lived and who I hung out with,” she wrote, adding that she was in constant fear that he would kidnap or kill her.

The second victim said she had left home and was couch hopping and had no way on her own to get to work “so I was easily persuaded to cave into the nonsense that I was being fed on SnapChat by Thomas.” She wrote that she tried to stop. “I completely lost myself. I was talked into some crazy stuff that breaks my soul to live with.”

Bowles used aliases that prevented the victims from discovering that he is a registered sex offender. Both victims told Bowles that they were underage.

In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jillian Anderson said Bowles intentionally manipulated and exploited “particularly vulnerable children.”

Bowles pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in St. Louis in November to one count of sex trafficking of a child, two counts of coercion and enticement of a minor, one count of production of child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography. 

The FBI, St. Charles County Police Department, St. Louis County Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jillian Anderson and Nathan Chapman prosecuted the case.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Department of Justice Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit


Robert Patrick, Public Affairs Officer,

Updated April 4, 2024

Project Safe Childhood