Residents concerned after Florida sex offender arrested 32nd time

Oscar Rowell. (Photo: Florida Department of Law Enforcement)

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. — A convicted sex offender has been accused of touching himself in the bushes near the beach volleyball courts in Delray Beach on Thursday, police said.

Oscar Rowell, 59, was released without bail on Thursday and was arrested again Friday on a trespassing charge. A judge ordered him to be held on no bond Saturday, and he is facing charges of indecent exposure and resisting arrest without violence.

According to the police report, Rowell denied allegations from witnesses, but told police he was urinating in the sea grapes.

Witnesses told police they did not see Rowell’s genitalia, but observed his hand motions and alerted a lifeguard. Rowell was not at the scene when officers arrived, but was found near Veteran’s Park a few blocks away. Police say they chased Rowell who originally fled on his bicycle and later on foot.

A resident of Delray Beach, Ann-Margo Cannon, was present in Rowell’s court hearing, and told the judge she is concerned for her children’s safety.

“This man is a threat to the community,” Cannon said. “I’m afraid my children could be exposed to his indecent behavior.”

Rowell has been arrested eight times this year, including once on a charge of lewd and lascivious exhibition in June. In court, a public defender said Rowell has been arrested 32 times in total on similar charges of indecent exposure and lewd acts.

“People are wondering why this keeps happening,” Cannon said to the judge. She also said Delray police are putting “tremendous time (into the prevention of) people becoming his next victim.”

A judge also ordered that Rowell be given a psychiatric evaluation and have no contact in the area where he was arrested and to stay at least 1,000 yards away.