ST. CLOUD -- A Waite Park man has been charged with 5th degree criminal sexual conduct involving a vulnerable adult.

According to the criminal complaint, 36-year-old Michael Lawson Jr. was a staffer at WACOSA  in January 2015 when a witness saw him touch the breast of a worker who is a vulnerable adult. Records show the victim told officers Lawson had been engaging in unwanted sexual contact with her for the past two years and that he previously touched her and exposed himself to her.

Lawson no longer works at WACOSA and was disqualified from any position providing for vulnerable adults by the Department of Human Services.

WACOSA Executive Director Steve Howard wrote in an email to WJON in March that "WACOSA took proper steps early on in the investigation to remove the individual in question from all direct contact with vulnerable adults."

A Minnesota Department of Human Services report says the facility completed an internal review and determined that policies and procedures were not followed when a staffer "failed to report alleged abuse within 24 hours as required by law." Staff at the facility were retrained on the Reporting of Maltreatment of Vulnerable Adults Act.

Lawson has a court hearing scheduled for May 18th.

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