WENATCHEE — The veterans services provider convicted of fourth-degree assault in a Wenatchee court last month is appealing his case.
Thelbert M. “Thad” Lawson Jr., 55, wants a Chelan County Superior Court judge to overturn the District Court jury verdict that found him guilty of assaulting a woman in the offices of the Veterans Warehouse thrift store, where he’s been director for eight years.
Lawson filed papers seeking appeal on Thursday. He was sentenced to 75 days in jail after his July 21 trial, but that sentence has been set aside while his appeal is pending. The case has yet to be assigned to a Superior Court judge.
Wenatchee police say in April 2019 Lawson forcibly pinned a 27-year-old woman against a window ledge in the Veterans Warehouse office, 1219 N. Wenatchee Ave., demanding sexual favors from her. Part of the incident was captured on security video. The woman was visiting the office to pick up paperwork for her husband, who had just completed a term of community service by working at the nonprofit store.
It’s Lawson’s second conviction for gross misdemeanor assault in the last five years. In 2016 he pleaded guilty to a 2012 incident in which he asked two teenage girls to expose themselves while he was supervising their community service work at the YWCA Thrift Store. He served 20 days in that case.
If Lawson’s appeal fails, he will be subject to the jail term plus 24 months on probation. The 75 days is part of a 364-day sentence with 289 days suspended; if Lawson violates the law within the probation period, he could be ordered back to jail to serve the suspended 289 days.
In 1992, Lawson was convicted for solicitation to commit murder and sentenced to 18 years in prison for attempting to hire a hit man to kill his then-wife. He served about 15 years.
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