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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Oregon

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 29, 2021

Convicted Child Molester Sentenced to 17 Years in Federal Prison for Receiving and Distributing Child Pornography

PORTLAND, Ore.—A Portland man who previously served 12 years in California state prison for sexually abusing a child was sentenced to federal prison today for enticing an adolescent boy to produce sexually explicit videos of himself and share them via Facebook Messenger, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Scott Erik Asphaug.

Scott Andrew Lawrence, 57, was sentenced to a total of 17 years in federal prison and a life term of supervised release after pleading guilty to receiving and distributing child pornography.

“Scott Lawrence is a sexual predator who posed online as a woman to prey on a vulnerable teenager,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Asphaug. “Online sexual exploitation is a grave threat to children and families, even older children. We implore parents and guardians everywhere to talk frankly with their children about the risks posed by online predators, and to monitor their children’s use of social media.”

“Seventeen years is a rightfully long sentence for a man who has repeatedly abused children. The victims targeted by Scott Lawrence, however, are the ones who will pay a higher price as they must live with the effects of that exploitation for a lifetime,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

According to court documents, in April 2001, Lawrence was convicted in San Diego County Superior Court of sexually abusing a child and sentenced to a total of 14 years in prison. He was paroled in 2013 and completed his parole term three years later. In September 2018, Lawrence was convicted in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon of failing to register as a sex offender and, at the end of February 2019, was sentenced to time served plus five years of supervised release.

Three months into his supervised release term, Lawrence began communicating via Facebook Messenger with a 16-year-old boy from South Dakota whose family Lawrence lived with previously. During one exchange, Lawrence confirmed the boy’s age. In online conversations with the boy, Lawrence posed as an adult female named “Mary,” sent the boy several sexually explicit images, and repeatedly asked for videos of the boy masturbating in return. During at least three separate chat conversations, the boy sent Lawrence a total of six videos and one image of himself masturbating. Lawrence sent the image to at least two other people.

FBI agents arrested Lawrence on October 24, 2019. He admitted to chatting with the boy while posing as a woman and asking him for sexually explicit images and videos. He also admitted sending an image of the boy to two other people.

On November 19, 2020, a federal grand jury in Portland returned a nine-count indictment charging Lawrence with production, receipt, and distribution of child pornography, and committing a felony offense involving a minor while registered as a sex offender. On December 21, 2020, he pleaded guilty to distribution and receipt of child pornography.

This case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Gary Y. Sussman, Assistant U.S. Attorney and Project Safe Childhood Coordinator for the District of Oregon.

Anyone who has information about the physical or online exploitation of children are encouraged to call the FBI at (503) 224-4181 or submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

Federal law defines child pornography as any visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor. It is important to remember child sexual abuse material depicts actual crimes being committed against children. Not only do these images and videos document the victims’ exploitation and abuse, but when shared across the internet, re-victimize and re-traumatize the child victims each time their abuse is viewed. To learn more, please visit the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at www.missingkids.org.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Component(s): 
Updated March 29, 2021