benjamin lawson

Benjamin R. Lawson

An Appalachia police officer has been arrested on charges of taking indecent liberties with a child.

According to a Virginia State Police press release issued Thursday, the VSP Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Benjamin R. Lawson, 46, on three felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship.

The investigation was launched Wednesday and Lawson was arrested shortly after 8 p.m. the same evening.

According to criminal complaints filed in the case, Lawson is a town police officer and is accused specifically of molesting a teenager.

Lawson is being held without bond at the Southwest Virginia Regional Jail in Abingdon. The investigation is ongoing.

Contacted Thursday, Appalachia Town Manager Fred Luntsford said he was notified that morning by town attorney Mike Abbott.

"I am aware that he is being held without bond and it’s an ongoing state police investigation,” Luntsford said of Lawson. “His status with the Appalachia police department is suspended without pay until the investigation is complete."

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