Lancaster Man, Gregory Dow Sentenced to 15+ Years in Prison for Sexually Abusing Orphans in Kenya
PHILADELPHIA (STL.News) Acting United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Gregory Dow, 61, of Lancaster County, PA, was sentenced to 15 years, eight months in prison, a lifetime of supervised release, and ordered to pay $16,000 in restitution by United States District Judge Edward G. Smith for sexually abusing four minor children in an orphanage which the defendant and his wife operated in the Republic of Kenya.
In 2008, the defendant and his family traveled from Lancaster County, PA to the Republic of Kenya to start an orphanage. The orphanage, which came to be known as the Dow Family Children’s Home, was established near Boito, Kenya, and remained in operation for nearly a decade with financial support from donors in the United States, including churches and other faith-based organizations.
In September 2017, Kenyan authorities learned that Dow had sexually abused children in his care. Dow fled Kenya when the allegations came to light, returning to Lancaster County. Acting on information provided by Kenyan women living in the United States, the FBI investigated the allegations and determined that Dow had sexually abused at least four teenage girls between October 2013 and September 2017. Two of the girls were as young as 11 years old when the abuse began. The defendant’s wife even transported the victims to a medical clinic to have birth control devices implanted into their arms, which allowed Dow to perpetrate his crimes without fear of impregnating his victims. The defendant purported to be a Christian missionary who cared for these children and asked them to call him “Dad.” But instead of being a father figure, he preyed on their youth and vulnerability. In July 2019, Dow was charged in a four count Indictment; he pleaded guilty to all four counts in June 2020.
“Under the guise of faith-based charity work benefiting orphaned children, Gregory Dow traveled halfway around the world to prey on incredibly vulnerable victims,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Williams. “His crimes are nearly incomprehensible in their depravity. We thank the witnesses in this case for coming forward to report him, and our law enforcement partners in the United States and in Kenya for working diligently to bring him to justice. It is no exaggeration to say that the world’s children are safer with Dow behind bars.”
“Gregory Dow was the proverbial wolf in sheep’s clothing,” said Michael J. Driscoll, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “He presented himself as this big-hearted man who was living according to his faith, when all the while, he was sexually abusing girls placed in his care. These horrific crimes were a betrayal of an entire community’s trust. If Dow thought he could get away with it because he was in a different country, if he thought no one would care because these were underprivileged Black children he victimized, this investigation and today’s sentence have most emphatically proved him wrong. The FBI and our partners will never stop working to protect children from sexual predators, whomever and wherever they are.”
The Dow case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI, with assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, the Kenyan Office of Director of Public Prosecutions and Directorate of Criminal Investigations Anti-Human Trafficking & Child Protection Unit, and the Investigative Division of the Office of the District Attorney of Lancaster County. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Stengel and Department of Justice Trial Attorneys Lauren Britsch and Lauren Kupersmith of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS).