In a recent string of McDowell Superior Court cases, two Marion residents – including a former foster care employee – were sentenced on unrelated child sex crimes.
In a jury trial last week in court, Lawrence Anthony Walker III, 25, of Carrol Street in Marion, was found guilty of first-degree sex offense of a child and indecent liberties with a child. He was sentenced to 240 to 297 months (or 20 to 24 ¾ years) in prison and given credit for 32 days time served.
Walker was additionally found guilty of statutory rape or sexual offense of person who is 13, 14, or 15 years old and an additional count of indecent liberties with a child. For this, Walker was sentenced to 60 to 132 months (or five to 11 years) in prison consecutive to previous judgment, bringing his total sentence time to 300 months minimum (25 years) to 429 months (35 ¾ years) in prison. He must not have contact with the victim and must register as a sex offender.
Prior to judgment, Walker pleaded not guilty to all charges.
Between Sept. 2016 and Jan. 2017, Detectives with both the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office and the Marion Police Department investigated allegations that Walker had an inappropriate relationship with a female acquaintance while the victim was between the ages of 6 and 16.
The victim later told family members, who then reported it to authorities. The charges against Walker came after he was shot and wounded that September in an incident that authorities said was related to the allegations against him. In that shooting, Cherie Michelle Britt, 32, of Eaglewood Estate, Old Fort, was indicted on one count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, inflicting serious injury. Britt later pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury in Aug. 2017 and was sentenced to 30 days active in jail, a suspended sentence of 15 to 27 months and 30 months of supervised probation.
In an unrelated case through court on July 30, a former foster care employee charged in May on sex offenses involving a 14-year-old was sentenced last week to at least 12 years in prison.
Tiffany Lynn Forscutt, 32, of North McDowell Avenue, Marion, pleaded guilty to statutory rape of a child 15 years old or younger. She was sentence 144 to 233 months (or 12 to 19.4 years) in prison and given credit for 84 days time served.
According to an incident report by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, Forscutt was employed by Clear Sky Behavioral, a local therapeutic leadership academy for boys. It was alleged at the time of her arrest in May that she had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male that lasted for approximately a month earlier this year.
Her bond was set at $250,000 upon being taken into custody. She was subsequently indicted in July on one count each of sexual activity by a substitute parent or custodian (which was dismissed for plea agreement) and the statutory rape offense.