Jailed School Counselor Indicted By Feds

Duval County Board Expected To Terminate Guidance Counselor

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A middle school guidance counselor accused in August of sexually assaulting a child has been indicted on seven counts of child pornography by a federal grand jury.

Robert Cowan, 48, was arrested in August and charged with two counts of sexual battery with a child under 12 and remains held without bond in the Duval County jail.

Last week, an eight-page federal indictment accused Cowan of receiving, producing and distributing child pornography. Prosecutors said pornographic still photos and videos were found on his computer.

The document said some of the victims appeared to be as young as 1 and 2 years old.


According to school records, Cowan worked as a guidance counselor at several schools in Duval County from 1993 to 2006, when he left to become assistant principal at Yulee Elementary School in Nassau County. He returned to Duval in 2007 to become assistant principal at Arlington Middle School. He had just returned to Fort Caroline Middle as a guidance counselor days before he was arrested.

Cowan remains suspended without pay. Duval County Schools spokeswoman Jill Johnson said the district was in the process of terminating Cowan, but he requested a special hearing before the school board before that could happen.

"His attorney informed (us) this morning he is no longer requesting that hearing, so we are now able to move forward with his termination," Johnson said.

The board is expected to approve that action at next Tuesday's meeting. Cowan is expected to appear before a federal judge on the pornography charges on Dec. 30.

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