CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – An Ohio man who served as the CEO of a children’s organization was arrested in Clearwater on sex charges involving a minor.
Police say 35-year-old Larry Lawson traveled with a runaway teen from Pennsylvania to Florida and had sex with him. According to police, Lawson picked up the 16-year-old a week ago.
The juvenile removed his ankle monitor to avoid being captured.
The victim’s mother contacted the Clearwater Police Department after seeing Snapchat video of her child at a hotel on Clearwater Beach located at 505 South Gulfview Blvd.
Staff at the hotel recalled the pair acting strangely.
According to the teenager, the two met through social media and have maintained an ongoing relationship for two years.
Lawson initially stated the teen was his cousin and that the two were just traveling together. Then he stated the juvenile was a friend and a travel companion and that the victim’s mother knew the two were together several states away.
The juvenile was in possession of marijuana, which he claims he got from Lawson.
The teen stated that the two romantically kissed but denied that the relationship was sexual in nature, stating he did not want to make it worse.
Detectives say the victim and Lawson were inside a shared hotel room last Thursday when the victim claims both masturbated the other.
The juvenile said this act occurred approximately three times during the road trip from Pennsylvania to Florida.
According to sister station WTRF in West Virginia, Lawson is the CEO of Children Solutions, where police say he had access to other children and teens.
Jessica Daniels with the human resources department of Children Solutions released this statement to 8 On Your Side:
“The owner’s position is in the process of being transferred over. We are looking to revamp the organization with a new face to the agency. We have no comment on the specific individual.”
Lawson is charged with unlawful sexual activity with a minor, interference with custody, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and sheltering an unmarried minor.
Due to coordination with several outside agencies, additional charges are pending.
Lawson is currently out on bond.