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Ohio Man Faces Child Abuse Charges For Attack On Royal Caribbean

jason lawson

        Jason Lawson of Toledo, Ohio

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A man from Ohio is facing multiple charges after he helped another man attack a boy on board Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas last year, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, Jason Lawson, 32, and his daughter’s uncle, Arturo Martinez, 30, also of Toledo, Ohio, confronted the victim after Martinez overheard him offering the 13-year-old girl a keychain in exchange for her virginity.

Broward sheriff’s detectives said surveillance video shows Lawson and Martinez corner the victim against a bookcase and place their hands on either side of his head, chest and shoulder.

Detectives said video shows Martinez grab the victim’s neck and throw him facedown onto a couch several times while Lawson walks away briefly to make sure no one is coming.

Martinez, who was arrested shortly after the incident, is seen pulling down his pants, and, according to the victim, ordered the boy to also pull his pants down.

Detectives said the boy complied with Martinez’s orders, and Martinez threw him face-first onto the couch, got on top of him and started humping him.

According to deputies, Lawson did not try to intervene at any point and is seen making a final comment to the victim as Martinez lets the boy up and zips up his pants.

Lawson faces multiple charges, including child abuse, battery, false imprisonment and acting as an accessory to a crime.

Martinez was arrested on similar charges and is awaiting trial.

Lawson bailed out of jail Thursday morning.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 50 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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