Forest Lake man charged after he allegedly raped, tortured 21-year-old while 3 women held her down |

Forest Lake man charged after he allegedly raped, tortured 21-year-old while 3 women held her down

Lawson T. Waples Ward. Photo: Washington County
Lawson T. Waples Ward.

Updated: December 31, 2019 10:35 AM

A Forest Lake man, who was convicted of a sex offense in New Jersey and is registered as a predatory offender, has been charged after he allegedly raped and assaulted a 21-year-old woman repeatedly in a townhouse basement as three other women helped restrain her.

According to the criminal complaint, Lawson T. Waples Ward, 39, has been charged with two counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct in connection with the assaults over a two-hour period at a home located in the 21000 block of Bridle Pass Drive. 

The victim stated she had known Waples Ward for about a year and went to his home, located in the area listed above, on Nov. 16. He began to engage in sexual activity with her in the basement, where she noted to authorities she was uncomfortable but did not tell him no. 

Soon after, three women came downstairs, and the 21-year-old noted she was uncomfortable with the activity while others were present and wanted the interaction to stop. The three women ignored her request and held down the woman by her arms and legs while Waples Ward assaulted her as she screamed for him to stop. The complaint also states Waples Ward hit her with his hand and a paddle before one of the women continued the sexual assault.

At one point, Waples Ward "asked her who her master was," according to the criminal complaint.

Police later found through routine checks that Waples Ward was a subject of a New Jersey search warrant for being a non-compliant sex offender. Waples Ward has an extensive criminal history, including aggravated sexual assault, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, robbery, resisting arrest, and possession of a firearm. 

Along with Waples Ward, two of the three women were arrested. Waples Ward declined to make any statements, one woman denied having any knowledge of the incident, and the other woman admitted she, the two other women, and Waples Ward had a sexual encounter with the victim but claimed it was consensual.

Waples Ward was released on a non-cash bond a few days after his arrest. He is set to appear back in court on Thursday.

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