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Press Release

Citizen of the UK sentenced to 42 months in prison for illicit sexual contact with a teen-ager

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Defendant befriended family and then sexually exploited 15-year-old

Seattle — A citizen of the United Kingdom, who most recently resided in Nevada, was sentencing today in U.S. District Court in Seattle to 42 months in prison for Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in a Foreign Place.  JOSEPH LAWSON SCOTT, 35, cultivated a friendship with a woman he met in an online gaming community, and groomed her teen-age daughter for sexual abuse.  In April 2018, SCOTT visited the family in Canada and sexually assaulted the girl.  At the sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge James L. Robart called the crime “abhorrent” and “deeply troubling.”

According to records filed in the case, SCOTT was arrested in Nevada where he worked as a bail bondsman in November 2019.  He was indicted for four counts of Engaging in Illicit Sexual Conduct in a Foreign Place.  SCOTT pleaded guilty to one count of the indictment in January 2020.

SCOTT will likely be deported following his prison term.  However, should he be allowed to remain in the United States, the Court ordered 10 years of supervised release to follow his incarceration.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice.  Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to better locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP).

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Hampton.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated July 17, 2020

Project Safe Childhood