Conway man jailed for alleged sexual abuse of child

CONWAY, SC (WBTW) - A Conway man was jailed after a teenager in his care told a counselor she had been sexually abused over the course of a number of years, according to an incident report from Horry County Police.

The report details how on March 9 an Horry County Police officer accompanied an employee with the Department of Social Service to a home on Copperhead Road in Conway. The DSS worker explained they received a report of alleged sexual abuse of a 17-year-old girl living in the home.

According to the police report, a counselor reported that the victim was repeatedly abused by 41-year-old Henry Lawson III while she was in 7th and 8th grade. The victim told the counselor that the abuse happened "every few months" until the victim told Lawson she would tell her mom if he didn't stop. The victim said the abuse stopped until her junior year of high school, the report states.

The victim told the counselor she laid on the couch to go to sleep and when she woke, "she felt funny." The victim's legs were laid over Lawson's lap when she woke and she asked why he touched her, the report states. The victim stated Lawson replied because he wanted "to see how many fingers would fit." Lawson then reportedly told the victim to not tell anyone, or he would have to leave the home, according to the report.

On March 9, police and DSS went to the Conway home where a safety plan was developed by the DSS worker to keep Lawson away from the victim and only have supervised visits with the two other children who live in the home.

Lawson was arrested Thursday on one count of criminal sexual conduct third degree and one count of criminal sexual conduct second degree. Lawson was booked into J. Reuben Long Detention Center at 8:05 a.m. Thursday, and released hours later on a $5,000 bond.

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