On October 25, 2022, Joseph Fowler [DOB: 12/18/1981], a Level 2 Sex Offender, pled guilty to Failure to Register or Verify as a Sex Offender, in violation of New York State Corrections Law, a class E non-violent felony. Mr. Fowler pled guilty to the single count indictment to Schenectady County Court Judge Matthew J. Sypniewski. Mr. Fowler is to receive a sentence of one to three years [1-3] of state incarceration for failing to register or verify as a sex offender. The maximum sentence that Mr. Fowler could have received on the indictment is one and one third to four years [1 1/3- 4] of state incarceration. The indeterminate sentence means that the Department of Corrections and Parole Board may hold the defendant for as little as one and one third years and as many as three based upon its internal determinations.
The investigation that led to Mr. Fowler’s arrest began in August 2021, when members of the New York State Police, Fonda Barracks, were notified that Mr. Fowler, a registered sex offender, was reaching out to teenage girls, purporting himself to be a photographer under the Instagram handle “evolvedphotography,” for modeling shoots. The New York State Police coordinated with the Schenectady Police Department’s Youth Aid Bureau in identifying young women who had interacted with Mr. Fowler on that handle. Based on the investigations, search warrants were obtained to seize his electronic devices. The New York State Police Computer Crimes Unit analyzed those devices and found data confirming that Mr. Fowler had been using that screenname for months without registering it, as he is required to do as a sex offender. Mr. Fowler is now facing multiple prosecutions for Endangering the Welfare of a Child for actual contact with children in Warren, Fulton, and Rensselaer Counties. No children in Schenectady County have been identified as having contact with him, but because Schenectady is his county of residence, the crime of failure to register was committed in Schenectady County.
If anyone believes that their child has been victimized by Joseph Fowler, they are encouraged to contact either the New York State Police or the Schenectady County District Attorney’s Office at 518-388-4364. Based upon this investigation, Mr. Fowler was charged with felony of Failure to Register or Verify as a Sex Offender by the Schenectady Police Department and was provided an appearance ticket. An appearance ticket was issued by the police department because under the current bail rules, Mr. Fowler could not be held for pre-trial detention. Mr. Fowler never appeared on his ticket and, instead, fled to the area of Flint, Michigan. Michigan State Police along with the United States Marshals found Mr. Fowler in Michigan and apprehended him in May of 2022, some eight months after he fled New York State. Based on the egregious nature of his conduct while being a registered sex offender, the District Attorney’s Office had Mr. Fowler extradited to Schenectady to face these charges.
District Attorney Robert M. Carney stated: “One of the consequence of bail reform is that bail cannot be set for whole classes of offenses. Many of those released may have had sufficient resources to post bail, and if they had, they would have a financial incentive to stay and resolve their charges. Lacking that incentive, some choose to flee the jurisdiction, hoping that no one will come looking for them. Requests for extradition to my office from police agencies have increased in the aftermath of bail reform. Most of the costs of extradition are borne by the counties and they are not inexpensive as we are required to send two officers to the arresting jurisdiction and pay to return all three individuals here. We made the determination that we should extradite Mr. Fowler given his extensive criminal history which includes one felony conviction and imprisonment for a crime committed against a child, and his continued efforts to surreptitiously put himself in contact with other children.” The People were represented by Special Victims Bureau Chief John J. Carson. Mr. Fowler is represented by Lee Kindlon of The Kindlon Law Firm PLLC. For further information contact ADA John J. Carson at 518-810-7365.