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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of California

Monday, January 23, 2017

Defendant Sentenced to 46 Months for Sexual Abuse of a Minor

Assistant U. S. Attorney Jennifer Gmitro (619) 546-9692

NEWS RELEASE SUMMARY – January 23, 2017


SAN DIEGO – Dylan Wayne Cowdrey was sentenced in federal court today to 46 months in prison for sexually abusing a 14-year-old old girl by coercing her through threatening text messages.


According to his October 2016 plea agreement, Cowdrey admitted to having sexual intercourse with the victim on a military base in the Southern District of California. He also admitted to engaging in undue influence to coerce her into the sexual acts. That is, between approximately June 5, 2016 and June 9, 2016, Cowdrey sent anonymous text messages to the victim threating to cause serious bodily harm to her family and loved ones if she did not perform sexual acts with him. Among other threats, Cowdrey stated that if the victim did not comply, she would “lose her love[d] ones and everyone else [she] knows.”


He also claimed that he was receiving threatening text messages from the same source. When the defendant met up with the victim and she told him she did not want to perform sex acts, he responded that he “didn’t want to die” as a result of her refusal. On the same day, the defendant engaged in sexual acts with the victim.


The defendant, then 22, admitted in his plea agreement he knew the victim was 14.


At sentencing, U.S. District Judge William Q. Hayes stated that the defendant’s conduct could only be described as “manipulative” and “diabolical.” Noting the youth of the victim, Judge Hayes added, “It is hard for me to understand the sense of betrayal” that the victim must feel, “to learn that all of it wasn’t true.”


“It is a despicable thing to deceive and abuse a child,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson. “This defendant will now pay a high price for striking fear in the heart of a child to the point where she believed she had to sacrifice herself to protect her family.”


DEFENDANT Criminal Case: 16CR1929-WQH


Dylan Wayne Cowdrey Age 23 San Diego, California




Sexual Abuse of a Minor within Maritime and Territorial Jurisdiction (18 U.S.C. § 2243(a))

Maximum penalty: 15 years in prison and $250,000 fine




Naval Criminal Investigative Service


Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 
Updated January 23, 2017