A Bruceville-Eddy police officer who investigators say had a sexual encounter with a teenage boy in January was indicted Thursday.
A McLennan County grand jury indicted Nathaniel George Lawrence, 33, on second-degree felony charges of sexual assault of a child and prostitution of a minor.
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 boy 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.
Lawrence picked up the victim in his truck on or around Thanksgiving, then drove to a desolate road where they had sexual intercourse, according to the affidavit.
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 exchanged sex for money or goods from adult men he met on an app. With his 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 the boy, sent him $40 electronically as payment and drove to his residence, where Lawrence was arrested.
Lawrence's attorney, Jarrod Smith, of Austin, said Thursday he is unsure how long Lawrence worked for the Bruceville-Eddy Police Department. He was fired after his arrest, Smith said.
"I think there is some significant issues with the government's case, and we are looking forward to our day in court," Smith said.