Buckley man charged with child rape

Laurence Lee Rawdon pleaded not guilty to nine charges last week.

CORRECTION: The Courier-Herald misreported that the alleged victim told her mother about the situation; the mother acted on suspicions, which the child reportedly confirmed in police interviews after camera footage was given to law enforcement. The article has been updated.

Buckley resident Laurence Lee Rawdon, 59, was recently charged with child molestations and rape.

Rawdon, who owns the Hot Beans Espresso coffee stand in Pasco, WA, was arrested Jan. 24 and pleaded not guilty to one count of first degree child molestation, four counts of second degree child molestations, two counts of second degree child rape, one count of giving a minor a controlled substance, and for violating a court order at his arraignment a day later.

According to court documents, the mother of the alleged victim became suspicious last October that Rawdon was assaulting her child. The mother set up a hidden camera and turned over at least a dozen recordings to police, some of which reportedly show Rawdon inappropriately touching the child.

The mother obtained a protection order shortly after, and Rawdon moved out, but Rawdon continued to contact the child through social media into December, according to documents. It was during this time the victim told police about the abuse, and about a month later, he was arrested.

Bail was set at $750,000.

The charges against Rawdon are only allegations, and he is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law.