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Cowan Sentenced to Seven Years for Online Enticement of a Minor and Distribution of Indecent Materials to a Minor

December 12, 2022

(Wrangell, AK) – Today, Sitka Superior Court Judge Jude Pate sentenced 41-year-old Dusty Cowan to seven years in prison for soliciting sexual photos from a minor as well as sending photos of his penis to the minor. Cowan was previously convicted of both counts by a jury in June in Ketchikan this year.

The victim and her mother spoke at the sentencing about the impact the case had on their family, including losing trust in the people around her and feeling ostracized from the community of Wrangell and the people she considered her family. The courtroom was full of people supporting Cowan, and 25 members of the community submitted letters to the judge alerting him that Cowan was the town’s primary mechanic and a valued member of the community.

Cowan sought a reduced sentence from the Court arguing that his crimes were among the least serious and that he has extraordinary prospects for rehabilitation. The State argued for a higher sentence, noting Cowan’s position of trust and authority in relation to the victim, lack of remorse, victim-blaming, and his behavior of grooming the victim for more abuse.

In handing down the sentence, Judge Pate noted that Cowan’s actions were predatory and in the mid-to-higher range of the offenses for which he was convicted. Judge Pate recognized the impact the case had on the victim and took special note of the fact that Cowan had told the victim to delete evidence of the offense. He found that when an adult preys upon a young person sexually in Wrangell, the community of Wrangell expects significant consequences.

Following the service of his sentence, Cowan will be placed on probation for a period of 10 years and will be required to register as a sex offender for life.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Bailey Woolfstead.

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Department Media Contacts: Communications Director Patty Sullivan at patty.sullivan@alaska.gov or (907) 269-6368. Information Officer Sam Curtis at sam.curtis@alaska.gov or (907) 269-6379.