Oregon missionary accused of seeking nude photo of 13-year-old Lincoln girl

Posted Nov. 16, 2012, at 5:28 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 16, 2012, at 9 p.m.
Caleb Daniel Lowe, 22, of Springfield, Ore.
Courtesy of Springfield, Ore., police
Caleb Daniel Lowe, 22, of Springfield, Ore.

LINCOLN, Maine — A Mormon missionary who worked in Lincoln last summer was in jail Friday accused of trying to get a 13-year-old local girl to send him nude photographs of herself, police said.

Caleb Daniel Lowe, 22, of Springfield, Ore., was charged Nov. 8 with attempting to use a child in a sexual display. He is in Oregon’s Lane County Jail awaiting trial, police said.

Springfield Detective Sgt. David Lewis said the investigation began earlier this month when the Lincoln girl’s mother saw a nude photograph of Lowe and suggestive texts he sent to the girl on the girl’s cellular telephone.

The woman contacted town police, and Officer Mark Fucile contacted Springfield Detective David Grice, Lincoln Police Chief William Lawrence said.

Springfield police confronted Lowe with the accusations and the suspect agreed to show police his cellphone. There, investigators found a matching photograph and many sexually suggestive texts from Lowe, Lewis said.

“He was asking her to reciprocate,” Lewis said.

Lowe apparently met the girl while staying with her family as part of his mission. The girl apparently rejected Lowe’s suggestions, Lewis said.

The texting began in September and continued almost to the day police confronted Lowe, Lewis said. Lewis declined to say how many texts were sent, and Grice was off on Friday. Fucile and his supervisor, Sgt. Glenn Graef, could not be reached for comment.

Under Oregon law, Lowe cannot be charged for sending the nude photograph or for making sexual remarks — only for suggesting that the girl send him the photograph, Lewis said.

Police found no evidence of inappropriate conduct or illegal activity between Lowe and anyone else, Lewis said, but he asked anyone who might know of such conduct involving Lowe to contact Springfield police at 541-726-3721.

“Anyone who is on a mission has multiple opportunities to contact people,” Lewis said. “He had access to a lot of people.”

Springfield is a town of about 57,000 near Interstate 5 and the McKenzie River, according to that town’s website.

If convicted, Lowe would have to register as a sex offender in Oregon and would face a maximum sentence of five years in prison, Lewis said.

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