Columbia County man arraigned on nearly 400 child sex abuse and assault charges

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AUSTERLITZ, N.Y. (NEWS10) — An Austerlitz man was arraigned on Monday on nearly 400 counts of sex abuse and assault charges connected to sexual contact with three children over the course of four years.

Michel Lawrence, 71, was arraigned on Monday in Columbia County Court on a sealed indictment charging him with 130 counts of sexual abuse in the first degree (a Class D felony), 103 counts of predatory sexual assault, 103 counts of rape in the first degree, twenty three counts of sexual abuse in the first degree (a Class D felony), three counts of sexual abuse in the second degree (a Class D felony) as well as counts of sexual conduct in the first degree, sexual conduct in the second degree, and a criminal sex act in the first degree.

The grand jury indictment alleges that Lawrence had sexual contact with three children, the youngest of whom was eleven years old, beginning in 2009 and continuing through 2013.

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