Following former Polk County Sheriff's
Sergeant Scott Lawson's arrest on June 5, 2002, and the subsequent news
coverage, Sheriff's Office detectives received information regarding a
number of other potential victims. Additionally, a search warrant w-+as
served on Lawson's personal vehicle and
Over the past several days detectives from the Bureau of Criminal Investigations' Special Victim's Unit have been following up leads and interviewing other possible victims. Among these interviews were four additional victims, which led to Lawson's arrest today, June 14, 2002, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The victims who led to the original charges against Lawson came into contact with Lawson having met him due to criminal violations in which they were a party. Among the latest victims are Law Enforcement Officers or person(s) interested in a career as a Law Enforcement Officer, who had contact with Lawson by means of these relationships. In these cases Lawson altered his scheme to lure the victims into submission to the "medical/physical" examination. The following is essentially a scenario of three of the four additional victims:
Lawson represented that he was a "medical student" at nearby University of South Florida. As a student of this alleged program, he was required to recruit "medical models". These "medical models" would be paid to undergo a physical/medical examination as part of Lawson's curriculum at the university, the results of which would be submitted to the professor at the University in order for Lawson to complete his degree requirements to become a Physician's Assistant. Lawson further explained that because he was a law enforcement officer, the professor trusted him and would allow him to conduct the exams in his (Lawson's) home and communicate the results via e-mail to the professor.
Additionally, Lawson told the victims the university would pay them as much as $40.00 an hour if they agreed to be "medical models". Lawson advised that once the exams were completed and the results submitted, the professor would provide him (Lawson) with cash from the "petty cash fund" to pay them. In fact, Lawson did pay these victims cash for being "medical models".
Additionally, Lawson had the victims sign receipts for the money and sign waivers before submitting to the exams. The waivers reportedly contained the name of the University and appeared to the victims to be legitimate.
Detectives contacted the University and determined that Lawson had never been a student at the University; furthermore the University would never sanction such a procedure. Additionally, this University does not have a Physician's Assistant program. Lawson went into great depth and detail to bring about an appearance of legitimacy to the scheme. The victims, dates, and information that resulted in the latest charges are as follows:
Victim # 1: White/Male, 20 years of age, who had an interest in law enforcement and, through this interest, actually participated in several civilian ride-alongs with Lawson at the Polk County Sheriff's Office:
Lawson told the victim that he was going to a university and, as previously detailed, invited him to participate and/or assist him (Lawson) in his alleged studies as a "medical model". Lawson informed him that he would be paid.
Victim #2: White/Male, 28 years of age,
employed as a Deputy Sheriff with
Victim #3: White/Male, 29 years of age, who met Lawson through his (victim) having been arrested:
Victim #4: White/Male, 26 years of age, employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the Polk County Sheriff's Office:
This brings the total number of confirmed victims to six (6). The ages of the victims are: 20, 20, 21, 26, 28, and 29. All of these victims were at least 18 years of age during the encounters with Lawson. The total charge count to date as it relates to the six (6) victims is as follows:
Sexual Battery - 9 counts
Unlicensed practice of Health Care Profession - 19 counts
Battery - 10 counts
This brings the total number of charges to 38: 28 felony charges and 10 misdemeanor charges. At approximately 11:00 a.m. on June 14, 2002, the Arkansas State Police arrested Lawson at his parents' home in Little Rock, Arkansas on a warrant that was issued by Judge McCarthy on June 13, 2002. These charges are relative to the latest victims and are as follows:
Lawson is being held without bond in the Pulaski County Jail in Little Rock, Arkansas, awaiting extradition back to Polk County. Polk County Sheriff's Detectives are continuing to interview additional victims who have come forward since Lawson's initial arrest. Furthermore, detectives have recovered records and/or documents from Lawson's home regarding other potential victims, which have not yet come forward. These people will also be interviewed in the coming weeks.
|Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media|
A text only version of this release is also available.