Joel Fowler, a teacher at Minneapolis's Olson Middle School, has been charged with felony electronic solicitation of a child thanks to a Craigslist post he published "looking for a soon-to-be or recent high school graduate who wants to play with a just out of college guy." (Read the full backstory here.)
But it doesn't appear that was the only Craigslist casual encounters post Fowler published on Tuesday. In fact, another one that looks to have been posted by him as well tries to entice women with a photo of a man naked from the neck down. (See it for yourself on page three of this post.)
A person close to Fowler's family who has known Joel for about a decade tells us "he's had issues, behavioral issues, but I never would've predicted this." (She asked us to withhold her name.)
Our source says Fowler called his fiance from jail and told her about his arrest. She then spread the news to Fowler's family before the story was picked up by the local media.
The wedding, scheduled for August, "isn't officially off, but it's off," our source says.
"He was engaged until he called her from jail," she says. "They lived together and she has all his passwords."
Our source directed us to other posts she says Fowler published on Craigslist, including one from Tuesday entitled "Just Got Back From Omaha" that says, "So I'm taking the day off today. We can do WHATEVER you want." (Fowler told cops he called in sick the day he was arrested.)
"I was there for a High School Graduation. Damn did it make me horny," the post continues. "Right now all I want is a young 18 year tight girl to please for the day."
Our source says that post especially upsets her.
(For more, click to page two.)
"He was down there visiting his niece," our source says. "She's a high school senior. She didn't graduate in May, but I'm worried he might have been referring to her. She's gorgeous." (She also told us Fowler was adopted.)
Our source says she and Fowler haven't been on speaking terms for some time. She says Fowler graduated last year with a master's degree in education from the University of Minnesota following a stint in military school, where he was sent at the age of 15 because of behavioral issues at home. (He went to Stillwater High School previously.)
"He has a superiority complex where the world doesn't just revolve around him, he is the world, and it's a level of cockiness that I can't deal with," she says. "He's just better than everybody."
A Ramsey County Jail official tells us Fowler is still in custody as of this morning. His bail is set at $10,000 unconditionally, or $1,000 if he can specify an address where he'll be staying until his next court hearing on June 12.
But our source says none of Fowler's family members are willing to take him in or support him financially, and Fowler probably doesn't have the means to put up the money for his release on his own.
"Nobody is bailing him out and he has no money," she says. "The car [he drove to Cherokee Park in St. Paul, where he was arrested] wasn't in his name, and the house that he and his fiance bought is in her name. He has nothing."
Our source says Fowler's family became somewhat suspicious when Olson Middle School administrators didn't renew his teaching contract for next year, but they never imagined anything like this.
"He did the one year at the Minneapolis school, but they didn't renew his contract for next year already," she says. "Before this even came up [the family was] trying to figure out what happened at the school. His in-laws talked to some people and he had a job next year at [a school in] Wayzata, but I'm sure he doesn't anymore."
Asked why she contacted us to begin with, our source says, "It might seem like the meanest thing in the world, but he's never had to answer for his behavior. He's always the victim."
"I just want him to know he messed up big," she continues. "He went for a kid."
To see the posts Fowler appears to have posted on Craigslist for yourself, click to page three.