Revenge rape ‘prank’ after California house bidding war

Kathy J. Rowe
Kathy J. Rowe

SAN DIEGO, CA (KSWB/CNN) – A woman in California is accused of soliciting rape on Craigslist against a woman who bought a home she wanted, as revenge.

She pleaded not guilty to felony charges in court Friday.

Her attorney says she never intended for people to follow through and actually rape the woman, saying it was merely a “prank.”

Kathy J. Rowe, 52, was voted one of ‘San Diego’s 50 best moms’ in an annual contest sponsored by Time Warner Cable (edited to correct contest).

But now, Rowe hides behind her attorney in court and faces up to nine years and eight months in prison if convicted of the charges against her. She faces solicitation for rape, solicitation for sodomy and stalking charges, among other counts.

“She is now unemployed as a result of, unfortunately, the media coverage on this matter. Trying to keep it under wraps as best we could,” said her attorney Brad Patton.

Rowe is a former county employee.

Prosecutors have no sympathy for Rowe.

They say this story starts back in 2011. Rowe wanted to buy a home in Carmel Valley. It was her dream home, a perfect one-story house for her disabled daughter and ailing husband.

But another couple beat her to the punch, they bought the home instead.

That, prosecutors say, set Rowe spiraling out of control.

“She even offered them $100,000 more than the price they paid for it to allow them to take over the house. That’s how important it was,” Patton said.

In retaliation, prosecutors say Rowe stalked and harassed the new homeowners. She had tons of junk mail and magazines sent to their home.

But worst of all, prosecutors say Rowe posted a Craigslist ad encouraging men to break into the house and rape the home owner’s wife.

“…enticing men to come to her home, force themselves through the door and onto the victim, and have sex with her while she screamed no,” said Deputy District Attorney Brendan McHugh.

Rowe’s attorney said she never intended any harm.

He suggests she’s sorry for her actions, and calls them nothing more than childish pranks.

“She was in a situation where she was just playing around on the Internet,” Patton said.

Now it will be up to a jury to decide if her actions were more sinister than just silly pranks.

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