VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – In a style of her own last year – wearing a bathrobe while applying makeup – Virginia Beach Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler logged on to the TikTok social media platform to announce she was sexually abused as a child and she would turn in the man who did it.
“I had a lot of doubt about reporting [to police] 30 years later,” Convirs-Fowler said in a Zoom interview. “I really thought they were just going to be like, ‘What? 30 years? Why are you bringing this to us now? I thought I had to do what I needed to do.
“The detective believed me and I was really surprised because of the politics of the Commonwealth. The [Commonwealth’s Attorney] passed it over to a different special prosecutor to be able to handle it without any prejudice.”
Her stepfather Randall Thomas Boehm (pronounced Beem), the only father figure she has ever known, was charged with two felony counts.
The case was set for trial Dec. 12 in Virginia Beach Circuit Court. That morning, the mother of three returned to TikTok with an image of the little girl who suffered in silence.
“I knew I had to set an example too – if I could stop one person,” Convirs-Fowler said. “They’ve reached out to me and said it happened to me.”
In court, one felony count – indecent liberties by parent – was set aside. Later, in Fowler fashion, fans learned about the other felony charge.
“Hey, I just wanted to give you an update on how things went in court and all I have to say is he plead guilty,” said Convirs-Fowler with pride in a TikTok post.
Convirs-Fowler is calling on schools to provide more awareness training for teachers.
“Once a year is a better approach just because it will bring the awareness factor out,” Convirs-Fowler said.
She also cited instances where teachers need to be aware of medical symptoms that are related to sexual abuse – “for teachers not to get upset with a child who maybe is going to the restroom every five minutes because there might be a reason, not just because the kid is trying to get out of class.”
“If I have a bit of a platform to do that, then I’m going to do that,” Convirs-Fowler said. “Even this here [the 10 on Your Side story] is getting that message out that it’s never too late, never ever too late to report as you can see 30 years later: conviction.”