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Hampton councilman says man threatened, extorted him out of $5,000 after meeting prostitute

Recently filed court documents reveal police arrested Michael Eugene Brown II for threatening Hampton City Councilman Chris Bowman.

HAMPTON, Va. — Hampton City Councilman Chris Bowman told investigators he met with a woman at a hotel in Newport News in late March 2022, court documents show.

In the criminal complaint, Bowman said he paid the woman, whom he met online, $200 for oral sex. He then said he came back out to the parking lot where he learned his phone and several other belongings were missing out of his car.

Investigators said Bowman, who was listed as "C.B." in the court records, received messages and calls from an unknown man at the time who said he had found Bowman's phone.

That's when they said Bowman started engaging with the man to get his cell phone back and the man's "actions escalated when the male began to demand increasing amounts of money for the return of the mobile cellular phone," according to the complaint.

The record explained how the man then threatened to release the content from Bowman's phone if he did not meet him with $5,000. Investigators said Bowman felt this threat "would cause harm to his character and reputation."

Bowman told investigators he met the man at a location on Coliseum Drive in Hampton where he provided $5,000 in an envelope in exchange for his phone. That's when detectives said the man told Bowman he didn't have his phone and left with the money.

The Hampton Police Division later identified the man as 33-year-old Michael Eugene Brown II, who they arrested in June 2023. Officers charged him with threatening a person to extort money.

13News Now reached out to Councilman Bowman directly, but he did not respond to our calls. His attorney, Carter Phillips, spoke with us over the phone.

"He's very remorseful about this incident," Phillips said. "This is a one-time incident. This happened like a year and a half ago. And I know this will not happen again."

Phillips added this incident and overall investigation will not impact Bowman's services on Hampton City Council.

"He intends to be...to stay on city council," Phillips affirmed. "He intends to be the best city councilman he can be. Other than this, he's never had a problem."

Bowman has served on Hampton City Council since he was voted to serve a four-year term in 2020. 

13News Now also reached out to all the council members. Mayor Donnie Tuck and Councilmen James Gray and Billy Hobbs said they do not have a comment. The others did not respond to our questions as of Monday evening. 

A spokeswoman for the Newport News Police Department said officers did not charge Councilman Bowman because the investigation, "did not yield the required evidence."

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