• Report released in criminal investigation involving Fruitland Park City Manager


    FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. - Newly released documents release new details about the criminal investigation involving Fruitland Park City Manager Ralph Bowers.

    The Lake County Sheriff's Office was looking into claims that Bowers sexually assaulted a city employee.

    According to reports, it all started when a city employee started cleaning Bowers' house on the side for extra money, but she told investigators Bowers forced her into having sex and paid her when it was over. It went on for nearly two years, according to investigators.

    Documents show she was afraid to say anything because she said Bowers threatened her.

    Bowers forced her to have sex with him at least five times, according to deputies, and she said it happened at his house and in his office.

    Detectives said the woman told them Bowers would usually pay her $20 to $50 for sex and according to investigators, Bowers told her "I'm the man" and "the boss" and "I can have you fired."

    The report also shows that when interviewed by the police chief, Bowers admitted to having sex with the woman and confessed to giving her money, paying her medical bills and giving her a boat.

    Bowers was placed on leave after the allegations surfaced.

    The city is planning to hold a public hearing in the coming weeks and will decide whether to fire him.

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