EDGEWOOD, Md. (WJZ)—A Baltimore City police officer is out on bail Thursday night. He is accused of sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl who was living with him in Harford County.
Andrea Fujii has more on the charges and what the officer is saying about the accusations.
The detective says any kissing and touching was not for sexual gratification, but simply a comforting peck on the cheek for a teen he was trying to help.
Detective Kevin Rowland worked to get the most violent offenders off Baltimore City streets. Now he faces up to 30 years behind bars for sexually assaulting his 17-year-old goddaughter. Charging documents reveal he took her into his home in Harford County after her mother had problems with drug abuse.
His accuser says he kissed her often and with an open mouth, touched her buttocks and hugged her until it became awkward.
“I wouldn’t really kiss him back because I was creeped out, like, ‘Get off of me!’” she told police.
The detective’s close friend, Angela Jarvis, tells WJZ he’s holding up well.
He’s been released on bail.
“I’ve helped and prayed with this family regarding this child,” Jarvis said. “We have two victims here. We have a victim who tried to reach out to this child and we have a victim who is a sickly child.”
According to the charging document, the accuser was in a psychiatric facility in Newark, Del. and made the allegations after being treated with seizures.
She said the inappropriate behavior began about two months after she moved in.
The police investigation wrote: “I asked Rowland if he had an erection while hugging her and rubbing her back to which he replied ‘yes.’”
Rowland told police he never kissed his goddaughter with open mouth, but when asked about his arousal, he said “To be honest with you, I’m a man.”
“We became aware of this incident a couple weeks ago,” said Anthony Guglielmi, Baltimore Police spokesman. “We immediately moved to suspend the officer.”
The suspension is without pay. The detective lives with his wife and two boys where the alleged sexual abuse took place.
Those close to him are confident that he will be cleared.
“I don’t believe these charges whatsoever,” Jarvis said.
Baltimore City police will conduct an internal investigation and say they’re working closely with authorities in Harford County.
The detective’s next court appearance in scheduled for April 18.