Date: June 14, 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
Former Sergeant Arrested On Additional Charges

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
home. Among other things found during the search, detectives seized the following items:

  • Stethoscope
  • Blood pressure cuff and pump
  • Otoscope
  • Cotton-tipped swabs
  • Rubber examination gloves
  • Reflex hammer/tool
  • Syringes and needles
  • Urinalysis test kit
  • Examination table
  • Medical checklists
  • Examination forms complete with information of victims and/or potential victims
  • Generic employment application forms

Consequently, information coming from the potential victims who contacted the Sheriff's Office following Lawson's arrest, and records found during the search, the scope of the investigation broadened.

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.

  • Exam #1 was performed at Lawson's home and took place during the week of March 2, 2002. The exam took place in an office within the home on an exam table. (Standard exam, with hernia exam but no prostate/rectal exam).
  • Exam #2 took place the third week of March 2002. The exam was the same (minus urine test) and conducted at the same location as exam #1.
  • Exam #3 took place on March 26, 2002, again at Lawson's home, and was essentially the same as exam #1 minus a urine test.
  • On March 28, 2002, Lawson paid victim #1 $120.00 cash and had him sign a receipt.
  • Exam #4, same as exam #2 & #3, took place during the week of April 7, 2002 at Lawson's home. During this exam the victim had some tenderness in his abdomen and Lawson said he would research the possible cause.
  • Exams #5, #6, & #7: Conducted during the week of April 7, 2002, the third week of May, and the fourth week of May. Exams were essentially the same as exams #2, 3, & 4 and were conducted at Lawson's home.
  • During the first week of May 2002, Lawson paid victim #1 another $80.00 and was due to pay him the remaining $80.00 on June 5, 2002, the day that he (Lawson) was arrested.

Victim #2: White/Male, 28 years of age, employed as a Deputy Sheriff with
the Polk County Sheriff's Office:

  • Lawson offered to perform the exams on this victim to assist him (victim) with some potential medical concerns and to then present the results to his professor at the university as part of a research paper. This was designed to provide the victim with some advice on his problem and to provide Lawson with details for a research project, thus aiding him in his effort to get his degree as a Physician's Assistant.
  • Two (2) exams were conducted at Lawson's home. The first was in February 2002, and the second was on May 21, 2002. The first exam was basic, without a hernia or rectal exam. The second exam was complete, with both hernia and rectal examinations.
  • The victim asked Lawson for the research paper results, etc., but each time was given excuses as to why he could not produce them.

Victim #3: White/Male, 29 years of age, who met Lawson through his (victim) having been arrested:

  • In this scenario, Lawson advised he was a Physician's Assistant and had contacts in order to get the victim a job. This victim received three (3) exams/physicals for alleged employment purposes. The first exam was conducted between May and September 1999 in a room at the Cross Roads Motel in Lakeland. During this exam the victim initially declined the "prostate/rectal exam", but when Lawson told him "no prostate check, no job", the victim acquiesced. However, the victim never received a job. A second exam was conducted in January 2001, at the victim's home. The victim called Lawson after getting out of jail and inquired about the "construction" job. Lawson told him he'd need to have another physical and complete another application. In this exam, Lawson simply checked the abdomen for hernia and did a rectal exam. The third exam was conducted in Nov/Dec 2001 at the victim's girlfriend's home, after the victim called Lawson seeking help on criminal charges. Lawson dropped off an application and returned a week later and told the victim he would need another physical because the last one took place over six months ago.

Victim #4: White/Male, 26 years of age, employed as a Deputy Sheriff with the Polk County Sheriff's Office:

  • This victim essentially was given the same story as victim #1 and was recruited as a "medical model" for university classes. This victim received exams in January 2002 and in Feb/Mar 2002 at Lawson's home and was paid a total of $80.00.

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:

  • Sexual Battery - 4 counts
  • Unlicensed practice of Health Care Profession - 14 counts
  • Battery - 10 counts

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.

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