MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 27-year-old camp counselor faces child pornography charges after allegedly using his influence to get a 16-year-old Minnesota boy to take photos of himself in exchange for money.
Alvin Leslie Lawrence is charged with two counts of using a minor in a pornographic work and one count of soliciting a child to engage in sexual conduct. A warrant is out for his arrest.
Authorities say Lawrence left Minnesota last month and is currently living at a camp in New Hampshire. They added that he’s lived at camps across the country, including in Wisconsin, California and Hawaii.
The charges filed against Lawrence in Minnesota stem from last September, when he was employed at Pillsbury College Prep Campus in Owatonna.
A 16-year-old boy who attended the camp told authorities that Lawrence befriended him there and pressured him to take photos of his genitals in exchange for money.
According to a criminal complaint, Lawrence offered the teenager $5,000 for nude photos and $10,000 for videos.
Initially, the teen, who was 15 at the time, said he wanted nothing to do with Lawrence’s offers. But after he refused, Lawrence allegedly threatened that “serious things” would happen to him and his family if anyone found out about what he was doing.
Eventually, after more pressure from Lawrence, the teen agreed to take a photo with Lawrence’s phone, for which Lawrence gave him a prepaid debit card.
After Lawrence left Minnesota, the teen worked with authorities to get in contact with Lawrence.
In a recorded call, Lawrence told the minor he wanted him to come out to New Hampshire with him, and described a plan where he’d give him money in exchange for weekly photos.
The teen also told authorities that Lawrence said he has a “special kid” at every camp he’s worked at across the country.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the case.
If convicted of the charges in Minnesota, Lawrence faces up to 23 years in prison.