Luke Bowen, the Political Director and the public face of Texas Right to Life, was arrested earlier this month for solicitation of a minor. The forced pregnancy organization fired Mr. Bowen on the same day he was arrested.
Bowen allegedly "knowingly" solicited a minor online "with the intent" of engaging "in sexual contact or sexual intercourse or deviate sexual intercourse," according to a complaint filed by Montgomery County prosecutors obtained by The Courier of Montgomery County.
Texas Right to Life is one of the most powerful anti-abortion groups in a state known for setting the anti-abortion agenda for the rest of the nation. As part of his work for the organization, Bowen had appeared on stage representing Texas Right to Life at a 2020 Texas Youth Summit panel, spoke to Politico in 2018, and served as its campaign treasurer, according to a Texas campaign finance report filed last month.
He stands accused of soliciting sex from a minor online, a second degree felony in Texas that can result in up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Mike Holley said that Bowen's arrest was the result of a sting conducted as part of the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force program.
Bowen's arrest happened "on the scene," Holly said Thursday, meaning that Bowen's exchanges with officers posing as children constituted sufficient probable cause to arrest him without obtaining a warrant.
From author Jessica Valenti's newsletter:
The political director of Texas Right to Life, the state's largest and oldest anti-abortion organization, has been been arrested for solicitation of a minor. Luke Bowen has deleted his Twitter, removed his picture from LinkedIn—presumably because it matches the released mugshot—and taken down any mention of Texas Right to life on his LinkedIn work history.
In response, the group has been scrubbing Bowen's name from their website. Texas Right to Life has removed his name from press releases and are deleting entire webpages that featured Bowen—including one where he ran a training for college students.
The Texas Right to Life Website has done a thorough job of flushing its former leader down the memory hole by removing all mentions of this name, but thanks to Archive.org, you can see that Bowen was advertised as its premiere speaker:
Luke Bowen joined Texas Right to Life as the Senior Political Associate in the summer of 2017, and he became the Political Director in the fall of 2018. Luke began his career in politics after graduating from Wheaton College (IL) in 2011 with a degree in Political Science. Before joining Texas Right to Life, Luke spent 5 years with Texas Patriots PAC, a Super PAC Senator Ted Cruz credits as playing a key part in his 2012 Senate win, and as an independent consultant. Luke has been involved in dozens of elections, hundreds of races, and has a 70.71% win record.
A 2013 Texas GOP Vote bio describes Bowen's early conversion to Republicanism:
Luke's interest in politics began at a very early age while listening to Rush Limbaugh during car rides with his father, and developed into a passion in college after reading works by Alexis de Tocqueville, Frederic Bastiat, Leonard Read, and Ayn Rand.
I asked Texas Right to Life via Twitter if it will launch an investigation to find out how many children may have been sexually abused by Bowen while he was under its employ, but it hasn't yet responded. If it does, I'll update the post.
It's not a good look for a "pro child" organization to have an accused pedophile in charge, but it was never about the children, was it?