A pastor at Everett’s First Baptist Church was charged today in King County Superior Court with commercial sexual abuse of a minor for allegedly arranging to meet a teenage girl he expected to pay for sex, according to court documents.
John K. Lawlor, 54, was arrested Tuesday evening after Seattle police said he made arrangements to meet a person he believed was a 16-year-old girl and then drove to Seattle with $200, condoms and his cellphone.
Lawlor posted the $50,000 bond set at his first appearance on Wednesday and is expected to be arraigned on March 7, prosecutors said.
Lawlor could not be reached on Thursday and calls to his church were not immediately returned.
According to court documents, a detective with the Seattle Police Department’s Vice/High Risk Victims Unit posted an ad in the “Casual Encounters” section of an unnamed website on Feb. 8. Lawlor responded to the ad, police said.
In the email conversation that followed, the detective pretended to be a 16-year-old girl who wanted to be paid for sex, according to court documents. Lawlor allegedly requested photographs and asked about the presumed girl’s price and availability, court documents say.
According to police and prosecutors, Lawlor planned to drive to Seattle, pick up the girl at a location near the Northgate Mall on Tuesday and take her back to his Everett home.
Lawlor told police that he’d moved to Washington from Idaho last year. He is married and has grown children, according to his church’s website.