Thursday, June 18, 2009

Feds: Man promised to make girl a 'star,' instead turned her into prostitute

OrlandoSentinel.com
Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writer

5:36 PM EDT, June 11, 2009

When Dwayne Lawson befriended a 17-year-old Central Florida girl on MySpace, he promised to make her a "star."

Instead, he made her a prostitute -- pimping her out on streets thousands of miles from home, and selling her services on Craigslist, according to a federal criminal complaint.

Now, the 28-year-old Orlando man is behind bars in a California jail, accused of one count of sex trafficking of children. Lawson, also known as "Christopher Young," "Christopher Yoong," and "Staydown," met the girl through her MySpace page in October, the complaint said.

Lawson told the girl, identified in the complaint as "FM," he had a house, cars and money.

"FM thought she was going to be a star," the complaint said.

Lawson bought the teen a bus ticket and she traveled to Las Vegas, where she met up with him and an 18-year-old woman who had been working as a prostitute for Lawson for several years. From there, the complaint said, Lawson took the teen and unidentified woman to Orange County, Calif.

Lawson told FM the rules -- like don't kiss men on the mouth -- and told her how much to charge.

Lawson and the woman took nude photos of FM, posted them on Craigslist advertising sex in that area, and coached the teen on how to talk to "customers," the complaint said.

After FM met with a customer, all of her money went to Lawson.

Eventually, Lawson put FM "on the track" in California and Las Vegas. She was twice arrested on prostitution charges, providing a fake ID to law enforcement on both occasions, and was ticketed and released, the complaint said.

While in San Diego, FM was experiencing severe pain and Lawson did not want to take her to the doctor. When he eventually dropped her off at a hospital, a doctor told FM she shouldn't have sex for at least one week. The complaint said the teen asked the doctor to put it in writing so she could show Lawson. But Lawson told FM she could still make money.

In February, FM bought a bus ticket to get away from Lawson, but the teen returned after he repeatedly called her and talked her into coming back. When she did return, the complaint said, he took off his rings and threatened to beat her if she left again. He then took her cell phone away.

Local and federal law-enforcement agents compared photos of FM on Craigslist to that of a girl depicted in an endangered runaway poster through the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and determined it was the same teen.

Lawson, who is listed as a fugitive with the Florida Department of Corrections for absconding felony probation, was arrested and is slated for trial in August.

Amy L. Edwards can be reached at aledwards@orlandosentinel.com or 407-420-5735.

Copyright © 2009, Orlando Sentinel

1 comment:

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