A Bruceville-Eddy police officer has been arrested and charged with sexual assault of a child and prostitution of a minor after he was accused of arranging sex with a teenage boy through a phone app.
Nathaniel Lawrence, 32, was arrested by McLennan County Sheriff’s Office deputies and booked into McLennan County Jail on Tuesday.
The boy, who lives in southern McLennan County, told investigators he talked to Lawrence through Facetime twice before they met in person for sex last fall, according to an arrest affidavit. During the calls, the victim said he discovered the man was a police officer.
“It should be noted, upon viewing this child, it is apparent he is a minor,” the affidavit states.
The affidavit states that Lawrence picked up the victim in his truck on or around Thanksgiving, then drove to a desolate road where they had sexual intercourse.
The victim later visited McLane Children’s Hospital in Temple for an unrelated reason, and hospital staff called the sheriff’s department to report him as a possible victim of sex trafficking, according to the affidavit.
The victim, who is younger than 17, told investigators he’d exchanged sex for money or goods from adult men he met on an app. With the victim’s permission, an investigator posed as the boy, using his phone to exchange messages with the phone number registered to Lawrence, the affidavit states.
The affidavit states Lawrence arranged to meet for sex with the boy, sent him $40 electronically as payment and drove to his residence, where Lawrence was arrested.
Sheriff’s office Detective Joseph Scaramucci said Bruceville-Eddy Police Department has been informed about Lawrence’s arrest.
Bruceville-Eddy police and city officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.