Athens Police: Alleged serial rapist may be linked to other assaults

ATHENS, OH (WCMH) – Police have released more information about the special task force created to investigate a serial rapist in southeast Ohio.

Athens police say Shawn Lawson Jr. has more victims inside and outside of Athens. Lt. Jeff McCall with the Athens Police Department said the special task force continues getting tips since Lawson’s arrest.

“We are getting calls from individuals, who are prior victims,” said McCall.

The Athens Police Department, Athens County Sheriff’s Office, Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, FBI, Ohio University Police and others have joined forces to follow up on those leads.

This is still an active investigation, and authorities can’t say how many calls they’ve gotten. McCall said any amount is a good thing.

“We do want to bring this person to justice,” he said. “Not just for the ones he’s being charged with, which are the three we have investigated, but we want to look back at all the prior victims.”

Lawson is suspected to be involved in at least three sexual assaults in Athens between 2006 and 2015, and has been linked to a 2017 sexual assault in Lancaster. He is currently being held on a $3 million bond for three counts of kidnapping, rape and attempted rape, among other charges.

Anyone with information regarding this case or involvement with Lawson is asked to call the Task Force tip line: 740-541-1510 .

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