Andrew Cowells: Indiana teacher accused of touching boys in bathroom, watching them urinate
ELKHART, INDIANA: A high school teacher from Indiana has been fired after he was arrested for inappropriately touching his students in a school bathroom and repeatedly passing comments of sexual nature in the classroom. The details of the case were revealed in court documents obtained by the media, that identify the accused as Andrew Cowells, who allegedly tried to watch at least two underage boys urinate. Cowells also encouraged another boy to touch himself and told his class that he wanted a 15-year-old student to "grind" on him, said police. Following his arrest, Cowells is facing a total of 18 sex crime charges.
Arrested for more than a dozen felonies on Wednesday, June 23, news of the two-month investigation into Cowell's predatory nature comes after an Alabama teacher shot herself dead, two days after getting arrested on rape and sodomy charges on May 27. In two different Ohio cases, two teachers were also sentenced for having sex with minors. One of them is a 29-year-old teacher, recently jailed for 54-months for having sex with two teenage boys in a hotel room. The other teacher was given a four-year jail sentence for having sex with a 14-year-old boy with behavioral issues.
Who is Andrew Cowells?
The 47-year-old social studies teacher at Concord High School in Elkhart, near the Indiana-Michigan border, had taught for 20 years in the district before he was arrested and subsequently fired following the incidents. Cowells, who was once the Concord Teachers Association's president, was reported to the police after school staff learned of “inappropriate comments of a sexual nature” that he had allegedly made to students on May 5, 2021. Soon cops interviewed students aged 15 and 16 and obtained a warrant for Cowell's phone as part of the investigation into the matter.
The probe into Cowell's phone turned up several images of children in the nude, with teenage boys “in various stages of undress” and an adult male sexually assaulting a minor, reveals the affidavit. The superintendent of Concord Community Schools however said that none of the children from the photos are students in the school district, The Goshen News reported.
Cowell's perverse crimes
Cowell had admitted to his class that he felt “aroused” while telling sexual jokes, his students told investigators. The disgraced teacher also clapped for two female students who "grinded" on each other in class, and sent inappropriate text messages to one of them the same day, say police. Cowell also allegedly grabbed a student's bare buttocks and legs while he was urinating in the bathroom. He then looked over the boy's shoulder to watch him in the act, before asking another student to touch this boy's private parts, police said.
Currently facing 13 felony charges, including child solicitation, vicarious sexual gratification involving teenagers, and possession of child pornography, Cowell has also been charged with misdemeanor counts of voyeurism, battery and harassment via electronic networks. Three other teachers have also been placed on leave with police having warrants for their cellphones, but no additional arrests in the case have been revealed. “This is wholly unacceptable,” Superintendent Dan Funston told reporters at a press briefing on Wednesday, June 23. “Teachers are meant to be trusted adults in the lives of our kids,” he said. “We’re angry any time the wellbeing of our students is put in jeopardy.”