Hagerstown man accused of sexually molesting preteen girls charged with 14 offenses

August 01, 2013|By DON AINES |
  • Thomas Edward Dawson Sr.
Submitted photo

A Hagerstown man accused of sexually molesting three preteen girls was being held in the Washington County Detention Center on $250,000 bond Thursday.

During a bail-review hearing in Washington County District Court, visiting Judge R. Noel Spence increased the bond on Thomas Edward Dawson Sr., 59, of Cole Road from $150,000.

Dawson, who is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 27, was charged with 14 offenses, including two counts each of sexual solicitation of a minor, sex abuse of a minor and attempted second-degree sex offense, according to court records.

He also was charged with attempted second-degree rape and third- and fourth-degree sex offenses and second-degree assault, the court records said.

On July 17 a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office met with the parents of two of the alleged victims. In further interviews, one of those girls told investigators that Dawson had hugged and touched her inappropriately, according to the application for statement of charges. 

The second girl told investigators that Dawson had offered her $10 for sex and “started to do something to me I didn’t know about,” the charging documents said.

The second girl told investigators she stopped him by kicking him in the face and groin, the documents said.

The mother told the deputy that her daughter had also told her that Dawson had molested a third person, a friend of her daughter’s, toward the end of the school year, the documents said.

When interviewed later, the friend told investigators that Dawson offered her $5 to perform a sexual act on him, the documents said.

The alleged incidents occurred sometime in late May or early June.

Assistant Public Defender Alex Hutt had asked Spence to lower the bond somewhere to the range of $100,000. But Spence said he believed a higher bond was “more appropriate in light of the offenses.”

Conviction on a charge of sex abuse of a minor carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, while attempted second-degree rape and attempted second-degree sex offense convictions carry maximum sentences of 20 years, the charging documents said.

Sexual solicitation of a minor carries a 10-year maximum sentence, the documents said.

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