A former counselor at a day-treatment program for emotionally disturbed children in the Bronx has been indicted for allegedly raping three young girls in his care.
Willie Bowman, a 30-year-old man from Florida, allegedly attacked the three girls, who range in age from 12 to 14, between October 2014 and October 2015 while he was working at the Henry Ittleson Center on Iselin Avenue.
In announcing the indictment and arrest Friday, Patricia Gunning, special prosecutor with the state's Justice Center for the Protection of People With Special Needs, accused Bowman of preying on highly vulnerable victims and vowed Bowman would be "held accountable for the severe emotional, mental and moral trauma he has caused."
Bowman no longer works with the Henry Ittleson Center, which is operated by the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services.
The Jewish Board said it immediately removed and suspended Bowman when they uncovered the allegations, and reported it to The Justice Center.
"We have cooperated fully with the Justice Center and law enforcement," a spokesperson said in a statement. "Mr. Bowman was subsequently fired."
"At the Jewish Board, we expect our employees to adhere to the highest professional standards," the statement said. "We will not tolerate anything less. The safety and protection of those in our care is our highest priority."
Bowman faces eight counts each of second- and third-degree rape, one count of course of sexual conduct against a child, nine counts of sexual abuse and three counts of child endangerment. He was taken into the custody of the New York City Department of Correction following his arraignment.
Information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.