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| 3 min read | by Lonnie Huhman | lhuhman@thesuntimesnews.com |

In the wake of Dexter-based photographer Robert Bowden being accused of engaging in inappropriate interactions with young women, including teenagers and Dexter Community Schools’ students, The Sun Times News reached out to him on Sept. 17 with the following questions and received these answers on Sept. 18 through his attorney William Amadeo via email.

You can find the DCS letters here: Dexter Community Schools bans local photographer.

STN: Why do you believe you are being accused?

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BOWDEN: I’m sure that the copyright infringement case is a driving factor. I opened up two different copyright infringement cases that had to do with people at Dexter about my photos being used in conjunction with defamatory statements being made about my profession. Before these allegations were made, Dexter and myself were having discussions about copyright infringement of my work.

STN: How did it get to this point?

BOWDEN: I would like to know that myself.

STN: What type of work have you done for the district?

BOWDEN: Since 2011, I have provided sport and event photograph for Dexter Community Schools. This includes photographing sports teams, action photograph for the school yearbook and for parents to order prom, homecomings, graduation and other school events. I have longstanding relationships with many of the Dexter teams and parents who know me very well. For the past 8 years my work has been featured around town and even a few of my images are in the high school cafeteria wall mural. My work has been featured in the Dexter Chamber of Commerce publications and on the Dexter Community Schools websites.

STN: Do you have evidence of wrongful accusations you would share?

BOWDEN: I do but my lawyer will not allow me to share such.

AMADEO: If criminal charges are falsely brought against my client we will be sharing a lot of things. Some of this may end up in civil litigation if Rob takes my advice and sues Dexter but at this point Rob is still shocked by these allegations and still loves Dexter. I don’t share the same admiration due to the acts of Eric Delaporte (attorney for Dexter schools).

STN: As the district states, why did you walk away from the investigative interview with the district?

AMADEO: That is funny. Another lie by Eric Delaporte. I had my client walk out because every time my client tried to answer a question Eric Delaporte would cut Rob off. It’s amazing how Delaporte is attempting to twist the facts.

STN: How is this affecting your life and livelihood?

BOWDEN: Due to these allegations my life has been shattered and my career has faced major setbacks. I have received threatening phone calls and have fear of even walking down the street in Dexter. I’m shocked because so many of the powers that be told me this was a huge misunderstanding and now they have lied about me in the press.

STN: Do you truly want the young women who made accusations to take a polygraph?

BOWDEN: I do not want to have anybody have to go through what I am having to endure. With that stated, if I’m going to be falsely accused of something, I do feel that whomever is making the allegations should also be subjected to a thorough investigation.

STN: Do you have any policies in place when you are doing photo shoots with minors to ensure their safety?

BOWDEN: I have multiple policies in place to protect not only minors but all of my clients.

  1. Any time I am photographing an athletic team there is always another adult such as a coach present. Often a parent or two are also there from the booster clubs. There is never any one on one contact with a student during my school photoshoots. I also do not put my hands on students during photos, but have one of their team mates help fix their hair for example.
  2. My policy is that for anyone under 18 to have a parent or guardian with them for any photoshoots. Both the parent and student sign a service contract and photo release.
  3. Anyone over 18 is always welcome to bring a friend or family member to any photography session.
  4. My studio is equipped with security cameras-We have offered to display video footage but there seemed to be no interest from Dexter.

STN: Is there anything you would like to say to those who have made these accusations?

BOWDEN: I’m just shocked by the wild allegations that have been made. To see your life destroyed with false allegations by a community and school that you love is heartbreaking.

STN: What’s next for you?

BOWDEN: Clearing my name and serving my clients. I still have a client base that believe in me and know these allegations are false. I will work hard for them and continue my career.

STN: Is there anything you would like to say that I haven’t asked about?

AMADEO: My client has passed a Neil Myres polygraph and is willing to take a Michigan State Police test. When this was presented to Eric Delaporte he stated how he has been trained to beat polygraphs and he put no stock in polygraphs. That is an insult to the Michigan State Police Polygraph Unit and to Neil Myres. We have offered hard copies of everything requested, we have stated that we have videos of all parties that come in for security measures and we did pass a polygraph. Guilty people don’t pass polygraphs, lawyers that have no case leak lies to the press.

 

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Robert: you’re a liar and a scoundrel. Everyone who knows you personally knows these allegations are the tip of the iceberg of who you are and what you’ve done. Don’t blasphemy good men by claiming to be one.

  2. What have we come to? This mans life and reputation are ruined because of this.

    This nation is founded on ‘innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt’. Not somebody said something.

    Where were the details about this in the first article? This put a whole different spin on the story.

    No police charges. He’s willing to share his security video. Parents sign contracts and are offered the chance to be there? Doesn’t sound like he has anything to hide.

    But wait there’s more. The school might owe him money!?!?!? Oops. That’s a big fact to mention.

    I’m tired and offended by faceless allegations being made about men these days. Just because people say it doesn’t make it true. If an allegation is made then involve the police. No one wants a repeat of the MSU abuses.

    But when the district’s LAWYER is the judge and jury I go back to our true roots. Innocent until proven guilty.

  3. The allegations made against my client are ridiculous and the fact that Dexter leaked a story to the press without a thorough investigation is tragic.
    My client passed a polygraph and has nothing to hide. Eric Delaporte, the lawyer for Dexter, demanded that he go through all of my client’s electronic devices. My client has agreements with people not to share their private information when he is retained. We tried to explain this to Dexter and they wanted all of Rob’s passwords, all of his electronic devices and the only assurance that we were given was that Dexter would not share Rob’s work so in essence we were supposed to place Dexter on the honor code, violate the law by providing info on all of Rob’s retained clients and hope that Dexter did not violate the rights of the people that have entrusted Rob. The reality is if we gave ANYBODY access to all of Rob’s materials we would’ve been faced with numerous lawsuits from paying clients. Dexter did not seem to care. In my next post I will display an e-mail that I sent on Sept 7, 2019 trying to explain this to Dexter.

  4. This is the e-mail that I sent to Dexter on Sept 7 trying to explain the situation:

    Sept 7, 2019 9:36 am:

    I’ve copied my client on this.

    He is happy to provide a physical copy of everything and he has passed a polygraph with Neil Myres which speaks for itself.

    He is also willing to take a state polygraph.

    As far as you going through ALL of his electronics, I have an issue with that.

    My client has never broken the law and we would like to know the specifics of the allegations but I’m not just going to consent my client completely allowing you into all of his materials.

    What I can do is have him come in for a meeting, have him make physical copies of everything that you are requesting and review any and all allegations with you.

    I will also provide you a report on the polygraph.

    Bill

  5. Mr. Amadeo: You are at a disadvantage. You are trying to protect your client’s name, while Mr. Timmis and Mr. Delaporte are trying to protect Dexter-Community children. Whether or not, these gentlemen are successful in their endeavors, I fully support and applaud them for their honorable goals because I have a 5-year-old nephew and a 8-year-old niece in the Dexter-school system and I want them protected to the full extent of the law regardless of any man’s reputation.

    • Brian, one day, if your niece or nephew are falsely accused of a crime you may have a different perspective.

      Please ask Delaporte and Timmis why they refused an opened forum or to allow my client to take a Michigan State polygraph. Or better yet, why was it Dexter that brought the press in without a proper investigation when my client was not even charged.

  6. Mr. Amadeo:
    Thank you for responding back to me.

    As for my niece and nephew, I care not to speculate on any perspective until they are falsely accused of a crime. Although you have not made yourself completely clear in your rebuttal comment, I suspect you are actually referring to your client being falsely accused of a crime. At this time, I haven’t read that the Prosecuting Attorney has charged your client with a crime, so I am not sure of the point you’re trying to make.

    I trust it’s not in Mr. Delaporte and Mr. Timmis best interest to enter an open forum because if the Prosecuting Attorney brings criminal charges against your client, it could possibly bias their case.

    Mr. Delaporte hasn’t been the first first person to report that a polygraph can be beat. Any attorney should be concerned of a man-made machine that could render the result of a false positive or render a result of a false negative. I don’t understand your “polygraph” approach because the law firm you represent, Grabel & Associates, has stated the following on their website, “This means it is crucial that a criminal defense attorney be prepared to challenge polygraph results. The Michigan criminal defense lawyers at Grabel & Associates understand that certain Polygraph settings are more reliable than others, with many factors affecting how reliable the results are.” Since you are the Defense Attorney, it may be in your best interest to re-think your “polygraph” approach. All concerned readers should take the time to view Grabel & Associate’s website. It will help them understand the skepticism surrounding polygraph test results.

    I suspect The Sun Times only reported the facts that Mr. Timmis reported to them. I suspect, Mr. Timmis, was advised to report these allegations via a public venue to serve as a warning to the Dexter community, so that the community had the opportunity to understand the gravity of this situation. I suspect the onus is on the Prosecuting Attorney to conduct a “proper investigation” before deciding to charge your client with a crime.

    Anyway, what I am most impressed about Mr. Timmis and Mr. Delaporte is that they reported the facts to the Dexter community well knowing they could be unmercifully persecuted by many people. I applaud them and am grateful to them for enduring this test of conviction to protect my niece, nephew and the rest of the Dexter-community children.

    At the end of the day, each resident of the Dexter community will have to weigh out all the evidence and examine their conscience to decide to conduct any future business with your client. That is what makes the United States of America so great: We have the freedom to make our own choices, whether they are honorable choices or dishonorable choices.

    Mr. Amadeo, you continue to be at a disadvantage by only trying to protect your client’s reputation. Whereas, Mr. Timmis, Mr. Delaporte and I are trying to protect my niece, nephew and all Dexter-community children. Unfortunately for you and your client, it might be at the cost of your client’s name. In my mind, the safety of the innocent children of this world are much more important than any one man’s name.