Perrysburg man accused of rape rejects plea offer


A Perrysburg man accused of rape and facing a potential sentence of life in prison has rejected a plea offer.

Brian Lawson, 56, was transported from the jail Tuesday to the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Matt Reger.

Defense attorney Joseph Westmeyer III said the plea offer was presented and “at this point it has not been accepted.”

Wood County Assistant Prosecutor Charles McDonald said the offer was for Lawson to plead guilty to one count of rape, an amended count of sexual battery, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles.

The state would remove the potential life sentence for the rape charge and ask that it be treated as a traditional first-degree felony with a sentence of three-11 years, he said.

There would be the possibility of parole, he added.

Westmeyer said his client wished to consult with his family, which he had not had a chance to do prior to Tuesday’s court appearance.

McDonald said the plea offer will stay active until Monday at 4:30 p.m.

Lawson was indicted in August for four counts of rape, all first-degree felonies, and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, a fourth-degree felony.

Four times from Feb. 10-June 6, 2023, he allegedly engaged in sexual conduct with the same juvenile who was 9 years old at the time of the offenses. During that same time, he also allegedly, while in physical proximity to this juvenile, reviewed or perused an obscene live performance that is considered harmful to juveniles.

Reger said each of the four counts of rape have the potential for life in prison.

The plea offer had the potential for 17.5 years up to 23 years due to meeting Reagan Tokes Act requirements, he said.

Lawson’s March 18 trial was confirmed.

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