Serving as special prosecutor Friday was Dino Flores, an assistant Frederick County state's attorney.
Flores told Judge Fred Wright that the incident came to light June 25, 1996, when a semi-nude woman called Washington County Sheriff's deputies from a home off Robinwood Drive.
When first encountered, the woman was still wearing handcuffs and had duct tape on the back of her neck, Flores said.
She told deputies she and Rowe had entered into a contract calling for her to pose in bondage positions for him at his home at 11837 Partridge Trail, Flores said.
But the videotape, which was later found at Rowe's home, showed that while the woman was either asleep or unconscious, Rowe moved the camera closer and his hand could be seen touching her genital area, Flores said.
"She gives no consent in that video,'' Flores said, noting there was to be no physical contact as part of the contract.
Defense attorney Mary Riley agreed that the prosecution could produce evidence to prove those allegations. She said she too had viewed the videotape.
Wright found Rowe guilty of both offenses and levied a three-year suspended prison sentence for the assault and time served for the fourth-degree sex offense.
Rowe was placed on probation for four years and ordered to continue psychiatric counseling and medication.
A former officer with the Hagerstown Police Department from 1975 to 1987, Rowe read a statement in court Friday, apologizing for the hurt and humiliation this incident has caused his family.
He went on to describe his 10-year battle with manic depression, a mental illness - also known as bipolar disorder - that if left untreated or treated improperly can cause poor judgment, hypersexuality, and other problems leading to bizarre behavior.
"I had no idea that this illness can cause one to lose their career, their reputations, their homes, maybe their life,'' Rowe said.
Rowe went on to say he agreed Thursday to accept the prosecution's plea bargain offer to ease the "unrelenting pressure of this case'' on his life and his family.
"I must go on with my life and try to put the pieces back together somehow,'' Rowe's statement went on.
Flores said the state wants Rowe to continue his psychiatric care and therefore sought the suspended sentence to be over his head.
Rowe has no prior criminal record.
Riley said Rowe was diagnosed with depression but was then mis-medicated - a situation first recognized by a psychiatrist who examined Rowe at the Washington County Detention Center after his arrest.
"Ten years ago, Rowe probably thought he was on top of the world,'' Riley said. "But it's been downhill since then. The last 18 months have been very trying.''
She added that he has stabilized his mental health and although he has been on Social Security disability income for the past two years, he would like to go back to work.
Riley said Rowe is considering relocating out of this area and Wright said he would consider transferring Rowe's probation supervision if that occurred.