Date: June 5, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact: CARRIE RODGERS, (863) 534-6217 OR (863) 819-1856, PAGER
KIM GARRETT, (863) 534-6377 OR (863) 819-1656, PAGER
Polk County Sheriff's Office Sergeant Arrested For
Sexual Battery and Unlicensed Practice of Healthcare Profession

On June 3, 2002, a confidential informant contacted the Polk County Sheriff's Office after reading a news report about Sergeant Scott Lawson and the fatal vehicle crash that occurred on Hatchineha Road in Haines City on May 31, 2002.

A criminal investigation was immediately initiated by the Polk County Sheriff's Office Special Victim's Unit after the confidential informant told the Polk County Sheriff's Office that Lawson performed medical examinations on adult males on at least two (2) occasions.  Lawson claimed to be a physician's assistant but he does not hold a license as a healhcare professional.

The investigation revealed that Lawson conducted at least five (5) separate medical examinations on adult male subjects to include digital anal penetration.  The incidents occurred between 1998 and 2001.  Lawson came in contact with the victims through his official capacity as a law enforcement officer.

Lawson was arrested on five (5) counts of Sexual Battery and five (5) counts of Unlicensed Practice of Healthcare Profession.

Subsequent to Lawson's arrest on June 5, 2002, he was suspended without pay and he then tendered his resignation.  Lawson was employed by the Sheriff's Office for eleven (11) years.

Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. stated, "The accusations and subsequent investigation was a shock to all of us.  Scott has been a great street cop, but you can rest assured we're going to do what's right."

Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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