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Ex-Utah officer on the run for 10 years arrested in Hawaii

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WEST JORDAN — A former Utah Department of Corrections officer convicted of sex abuse who's been on the run for nearly 10 years to avoid going to prison has been captured in Hawaii.

The U.S. Marshals Service announced Tuesday that William Lawrence, 41, was captured without incident while eating lunch over the weekend.

On Dec. 6, 2007, Lawrence pleaded guilty to forcible sex abuse, a third-degree felony. In exchange for his guilty plea, a charge of forcible sodomy was dismissed.

Lawrence, while still employed with the corrections department, handcuffed a woman in his apartment near 9300 South and Redwood Road and demanded sex acts, according to charging documents. The woman told police that Lawrence showed her a badge and "informed (her) that she was to provide him with sexual services or he would take her downtown to the Salt Lake County Jail and call the Division of Child and Family Services."

After pleading guilty, the court ordered Lawrence to undergo a psychosexual evaluation before being sentenced.

But on April 7, 2008, when Lawrence failed to show up for sentencing, a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Marshals took over the case from the West Jordan Police Department in 2010. In October, investigators discovered that Lawrence had created a fake identity and was living in Hawaii.

“As a former law enforcement officer, Lawrence knew the strategies used to track down fugitives. He was able to elude law enforcement for years — until now,” Supervisory Deputy Marshal Derryl Spencer said.

Marshals went to Hawaii on Sunday and arrested Lawrence at the local McDonald's.


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Pat Reavy is a longtime police and courts reporter. He joined the team in 2021, after many years of reporting at the Deseret News and KSL NewsRadio before that.


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