FULTON COUNTY – A Level 2 sex offender has been arrested, accused of holding a sexually suggestive photo shoot with a minor in Fulton County who he contacted over Instagram, state police said Thursday.
Troopers also believe that he may have reached out to other girls via social media, offering to take their photos and and that he may have other victims. Investigators are asking anyone with further information to contact them.
The defendant has also been convicted on similar accusations – posing online as a photographer to photograph girls – previously, records show.
Joseph V. Fowler, 39, of Schenectady, was arrested recently and charged with one count each of second-degree disseminating indecent material to minors, a felony, and endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor.
Troopers began investigating Fowler Aug. 15 after receiving a complaint that he had inappropriate contact with the female victim via Instagram with an offer of taking modeling pictures of her, state police said.
Fowler then took photos of the victim exposing intimate parts of her body or that were sexually suggestive. He also showed inappropriate photos of the victim to another girl, state police said.
Fowler is known to have used the Instagram account with the words “Evolved” and “Photography”, state police said. The account he used no longer exists, officials said.
Fowler is listed on the state sex offender registry as a Level 2 offender based on a 2001 felony sexual abuse conviction related to a 15-year-old victim in Rensselaer County, state records show. He was sentenced to three-and-a-half years in state prison in that case, that also included a burglary conviction.
He then went to prison in 2017 related to a dissemination of indecent material to a minor conviction in Saratoga County. He received 16 months to four years in prison.
In that case, he was indicted in August 2015, accused of soliciting topless photos from an underage girl in Moreau using Facebook, Saratoga County Sheriff’s officials said then.
He used social media then to maintain contact with many underage females, posing as a photographer using the alias “Joe Nasuti” and had business cards and a Facebook page titled “Photos by Joe” in the 2015 case. He told the victims then that he could help them build a modeling portfolio, Saratoga County Sheriff’s officials said then.
Fowler was arraigned in the current case in Perth Town Court and ordered held without bail, state police said. He is to return to Johnstown City Court later.
Anyone with information is asked to contact state police at 518-853-4708 or [email protected]