Bakery owner accused of offering to pay 14-year-old for sex act

Travis Bowman (Photo: Wayne County Sheriff)

WAYNE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHR) - The owner of a Hagerstown bakery faces criminal charges after allegedly offering to pay a minor for a sex act.

Police say it happened May 1 in nearby Richmond.

About 8:00 that night, security guard and military veteran Jedacia Moore saw a teen that appeared to be desperate for help.

“He was running in a frantic, like he was running from somebody, and scared," Moore said.

He was.

The 14-year-old had just left Richmond’s nearby Clear Creek Park after playing basketball. Just blocks from home, a man in a distinctive orange Ford Mustang pulled up alongside him, twice.

The man told the teen he needed directions. The boy told him how to get where he was going.

When the man drove back again, he allegedly made an offer. The boy could allegedly earn $100 for performing a sex act.

According to court documents, the teen said “I’m not into that“ and took off running. He ran into Jedacia Moore, standing in a yard.

“I turned and asked him if he was OK," Moore told us. "As soon as I asked him, he stopped and was, like, no. He told us what was going on, that someone had tried to get him in a vehicle.”

Moore called 911.

From a photo lineup, the boy later identified Travis Bowman, 33, as the person who propositioned him. Police say Bowman drives an orange Mustang.

Bowman also runs runs a bakery in Hagerstown. Neighbors told us police raided his building over a year ago, but it's not clear what they were looking for. No charges were filed at the time.

Bowman is charged with child solicitation.

"It should be a safe community, said parent Cindy Cotter, Richmond. "You shouldn’t have to go up and down the street propositioning our children.”

Cotter said it’s a reminder to have the “stranger danger“ talk with your kids. She doesn’t know the teen who says he was propositioned but is concerned for him.

“It’s a lot of trauma. He may have some issues down the road, if not now,“ she said.

“I’m a father of four,” said Moore. I’m glad. I’m very happy they get people like that off the streets. I don’t know how I would react as a parent if my child came home telling me a story like that.“

We spoke briefly with Bowman at his front door. He had no comment.