COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A Holts Summit man admitted to several sex crimes on Monday that took place over several years.
Anthony Rowell pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping and one count each of rape and second-degree sodomy. The crimes happened in 2017 and 2018 during three different incidents throughout Boone County.
Judge Brouck Jacobs sentenced Rowell to seven years on each of the four counts. Two of the four will run consecutively to two others, amounting to a 21-year prison sentence. Rowell will be under lifetime supervision of the sex offender registry once he is released.
Rowell was first arrested in January 2018 after trying to kidnap a woman on Greenwood Avenue in Columbia. Prosecutors charged him two months later with a sexual assault that occurred in 2017. The victim in that sexual assault said she left a Columbia bar with only memory of being held in a van and attacked with a stun gun. A sexual assault kit found DNA evidence that matched Rowell.
Prosecutors then charged Rowell in 2019 with sodomy and impersonating a police officer for a December 2017 incident on Highway 63. Law enforcement claimed a woman ran out of gas when Rowell pulled up behind her claiming to be an officer. The woman said Rowell forced her into giving him oral sex in exchange for help.
Assistant prosecuting attorney Sue Boresi dropped the charges of impersonating an officer in the plea. She said the case had several unique aspects, including the number of victims and the "predatory" pattern of Rowell waiting for women to be alone in order to seize and sexually assault them.
"Through the hard work of the officers of the Columbia Police Department and the Missouri State Highway Patrol, we were able to support the victims' statements with physical evidence recovered from [Rowell's] home and vehicle, as well as forensic DNA and fingerprint evidence," Boresi said. "I am grateful the victims received justice today."
Rowell's attorney Shane Farrow declined to comment on the plea.
(Editor's note, 7/28: An earlier version of the story said Rowell pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree kidnapping. Rowell pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree kidnapping.)