Former Appalachia police officer among grand jury indictees

Mike Still • Oct 25, 2019 at 9:50 AM

WISE – A former police officer accused of sex offenses is among the 34 people indicted by a Wise County grand jury.

The jury on Monday also returned drug-related indictments against 21 people along with three larceny indictments and two indictments for possession of firearms by convicted felons.

Former Appalachia police officer Benjamin Roger Lawson, 47, of 1636 Derby Road, Appalachia, was indicted on three felony counts of indecent liberties while in a custodial relationship with a child under 18; one misdemeanor count each of of assault and battery on a family member, assault and battery and reckless driving; and one felony count of obstruction of justice.

Lawson was arrested on July 17 on the indecent liberty charges for incidents which allegedly happened between December 2018 and May. The assault and battery on a family member charge stems from an alleged Sept. 24 incident. The assault, driving and obstruction charges are related to a series of alleged incidents on Sept. 27.

If convicted of the sex-related offenses, Lawson could be sentenced to five years in prison for each count. The two assault charges each carry a maximum 12-month jail term, and the obstruction charge carries a 10-year maximum prison term.

Christopher F. Dominguez, 23, of 229 Kentucky Ave., Norton was indicted on one felony charge of rape and two misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The charges stem from an Aug. 12, 2018 incident in which Dominguez allegedly had intercourse with a female by use of her mental incapacity or physical helplessness.

The rape charge against Dominguez carries a maximum life sentence upon conviction, and the delinquency charges each carry a maximum 12-month jail term.

Brian Matthew Marsillett, 54, of 303 Adams St., Coeburn, was indicted on one felony count of entering school property while a convicted sex offender after an alleged Sept. 9 incident. The charge carries a maximum 5-year prison term upon conviction.

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