Charges: Gleason Lake Staffer Exposed Himself to Girls
A staff member at Gleason Lake Elementary in Plymouth is charged with three counts of criminal sexual conduct.
On March 22, 2019, Plymouth police began an investigation into indecent exposure by an employee at the school. According to a search warrant affidavit, three parents who have students who attend Gleason Lake Elementary say Matthew Bowers, 35, of Hopkins, exposed himself to students on three separate occasions.
Bowers was arrested after three girls; ages 7, 7 and 8; accused him of exposing himself on a playground last month. The girls attended Home Base, a before and after-school program.
The most recent incident allegedly happened during “pajama day.” The search warrant said Bowers was wearing pajamas and the girls were playing a game when Bowers allegedly exposed himself. According to the criminal complaint, one parent says she was picking up her daughter from the after-school program, and the daughter said that she had seen ‘Mr. B’s penis’ at school.
Police Execute Search Warrant
On April 1, 2019, Plymouth police executed a search warrant at Bowers’ home in Hopkins and recovered pajamas and other clothing that matched the children’s descriptions.
The students also reported other incidents of similar misconduct. According to the complaint, two children reported a previous incident that happened in the school library “a little before winter break.” Child 1 said that they pulled defendant’s pants down “only a little bit,” and defendant then “pulled them down farther.” Child 1 described defendant being “in a squat position” and seeing defendant’s buttocks and genitals. After child 2 described the incident on the swing, the interviewer asked if she had seen defendant’s private parts any other times and child 2 said “yeah” and described being in the same area of the library that child 1 described.
Parent Concern Over Allegations
The Wayzata School District informed parents that the suspect was placed on administrative leave, but couldn’t delve into the allegations, citing data privacy laws. One parent that spoke to CCX News was understandably concerned.
“I have a 9-year-old that comes here at Home Base and to hear that this has happened is absolutely insane,” said parent Dan Dorsey.
Bowers has worked as a paraprofessional and Home Base program assistant at Gleason Lake Elementary since 2006.