An ex-convict on life parole in connection with the 1987 rape and murder of a 10-year-old girl in New York City now faces new charges of another sexual assault, despite being arrested last year.
Law enforcement sources told the New York Post that 56-year-old Charles Rowe was able to take advantage of New York’s “less is more” act — which allows parolees to avoid jail time for committing additional crimes.
In December 2022, Rowe was released from custody, despite facing a felony charge for allegedly stealing a car. New court records show he is now accused of assaulting one woman and raping another. Rowe was put behind bars earlier this month.
A law enforcement source told the New York Post, “Charles Rowe is the poster child for parole violations.” “I served time for one of the most heinous crimes in 40 years, and he robs a car less than a year after being released.”
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“Less is More” was signed into law in 2021 by Democratic New York Gov. Cathy Hochul. It went away last year.
“Thanks to the governor’s ‘less is more,’ it is nearly impossible for anyone to violate,” the source continued. “Lowering of standards is responsible for one woman fighting this monster and another woman being raped in two horrific crimes where both women were threatened with death.”
Rowe was initially convicted of raping and murdering a 10-year-old girl inside her bedroom in 1987. Court documents show that her body was found by her relatives around 1 a.m. on Christmas morning.
He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. But, after spending nearly 35 years behind bars, he was released on parole for life on January 19, 2022.
Rowe was believed to be under close state parole supervision, but in December of that year, he allegedly stole a van from a U-Haul storage facility. He was charged with felony assault and other charges.
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An administrative law judge freed Rowe without bail, pending a preliminary hearing in his parole revocation case.
But Rowe failed to appear for his final hearing on Jan. 12, and again after missing the rescheduled date of Jan. 31, a DOCCS spokeswoman told the New York Post. The hearing was again set for March 17.
According to the report, Rowe also missed criminal court appearances on March 15 and April 12 for a pending stolen car case, and warrants have been issued for his arrest. He eventually returned to court.
Prosecutors allege that Rowe committed multiple assaults and additional crimes at the U-Haul facility.
On March 13, he allegedly raped a 69-year-old woman.
On April 25, he was returned to the U-Haul facility, where he allegedly threatened and assaulted a 61-year-old woman.
According to court documents, Rowe returned the very next day and was caught on surveillance video burglarizing the business.
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Rowe was arrested and charged in connection with these crimes on May 13.
He was arraigned the next day with multiple charges, including first-degree rape, first-degree sexual assault, violent sexual assault, first- and second-degree robbery, possession of a weapon, burglary and petty theft, per court documents.
The judge in the case set bail at $250,000 cash or $750,000 bond, the DA’s office said Monday, according to the New York Post.
Rowe remains behind bars at Rikers Island for a return court appearance on June 28.