Criminal record long of man accused in obscene calls case

A Burlington man accused of making a series of late-night obscene telephone calls to women in the San Juans beginning in mid-April was released from state prison six weeks before those alleged calls began.

Eric Nathan Lawson, 35, a convicted sex offender, recently served time in prison following a 2009 conviction for second-degree assault, a felony. He was released March 1, according to court documents.

Lawson, who pleaded not guilty in San Juan County Superior Court June 8 to 21 counts of telephone harassment, a gross misdemeanor, was in custody in the Sheriff’s office in Friday Harbor as of late last week, on $2,000 bail, pending trial on the alleged phone call offenses, Aug. 8.

Lawson identified himself as homeless when he registered as a sex offender with Skagit County authorities shortly after his prison release.

In 2008, he was convicted of felony burglary and theft, negligent driving and failing to register as a sex offender. His criminal history includes 15 separate convictions for an assortment of felonies and misdemeanors.

According to court records, Lawson was convicted of Indecent Liberties, a felony sex crime, in 1996 and of first-degree molestation of a child in 1990.

A gross misdemeanor, telephone harassment carries maximum penalties of up to a year in jail, a $5,000 fine, or both. Lawson is represented by county public defender Stephen Brandli of Friday Harbor.

Lawson will be prosecuted in Superior Court, generally reserved for felony trials, because two alleged victims are district court employees.


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