Edwardsville Police: Flea Market Man Molested Child For Years

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EDWARDSVILLE -- "I used to avoid walking past the flea market. I would walk all the way around, go up Main Street just because he would be right there. As soon as a female walked past he was right there at the door, 'Hey you! Come here!'"

59-year old Howard Wolfe of Hanover Township is locked up, facing charges including indecent assault and exposure and corruption of minors.

Wolfe ran the Edwardsville Flea Market, and it was there that police say he repeatedly molested a girl from the age of 12 until she was 15.

Newswatch 16 spoke with people in the community about the charges.

"He's said sexual comments to me. He would like ask people for pictures, pay them for money for pictures and stuff like that, yeah. That's what I heard,” said Jasmine Pearson, who lives across the street from the flea market.

Wolfe is not charged with photographing any underage girls.

However, police say in 1995, Wolfe was charged with molesting a minor.

"You could literally probably pull anybody off the street in Edwardsville and they will tell you that Howie is a scumbag,” said Candice Denn of Edwardsville.

Denn says Wolfe was inappropriate with her when she was under the age of 18.

"Me and my sister, we grew up in this area, things are tight so obviously we go to Goodwill, flea markets, things like that. Howie used to make us do things, like we didn't know any better, we were like younger, Howie used to give us things for picking up our shirts or wearing low cut shorts and everything,” she said.

Edwardsville police believe there are more victims out there. They want those victims to come forward and not be afraid.

"It's disgusting, he's told us stories about how it's happened right in there, like I feel really bad especially for her, for her in general. I didn't think he was that disgusting, but I definitely knew he went after little girls," said Denn.


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