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Shawn J. Lawson Jr.

Man arrested in serial rape case

Athens officials say they have arrested the man allegedly responsible for a serial rape case that police have been investigating for more than a year.

Shawn J. Lawson Jr. is being held in the Southeastern Ohio Regional Jail without bail on charges that include kidnapping, attempted rape, rape, aggravated burglary and felonious assault, according to the jail website.

Athens Police Chief Tom Pyle announced at a January 2016 press conference that DNA evidence had linked three separate sexual assaults in uptown Athens, according to a previous Post report. He said those three attacks occurred in June 2006, June 2015 and December 2015, respectively.

All of the women were college-aged, and each of the women were targeted as they walked home at night, Pyle said during the press conference.

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, the Athens Major Crimes Unit and the FBI collaborated with APD on the case, according to a Prosecutor’s Office news release.

More information on Lawson’s arrest will be released at a 2 p.m. press conference Tuesday at the Athens County Courthouse.


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