Independence man faces sex charges

By The Examiner staff

An Independence man faces multiple charges, including a felony charge for soliciting sex with a minor, after police assumed a teen’s name to communicate with the man. 

Jackson County prosecutors charged Robert Cowan, 51, with patronizing prostitution with a minor and five misdemeanor counts of furnishing pornographic materials to a minor. Cowan was arrested Monday at his home. 

According to court documents, Cowan approach two teens – a male and a female – at an Independence fast food restaurant and offered them a job, and when the young woman later contacted Cowan for more information about the job, Cowan said they could make additional money if she sent nude photos. The teens contacted police, and she agreed to let a detective assume her identity and continue communicating with Cowan. 

Cowan and whom he believed to be the female victim discussed the possibility of sending images or videos of sex for money, and he sent pornographic videos and later set up a meeting for sex, believing he was communicating with the victim. The teens had made Cowan aware of their age, according to court documents. 

Independence Police ask anyone with information about this case or other similar incidents to contact them or call the TIPS hotline at 816-474-8477.