Man charged with child molestation could be released on bond

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ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- A St. Joseph, Mo., man facing child molestation charges could now bond out of jail anytime, despite objections from prosecutors. They fear the suspect is still a threat to the victim, who is still living in the family's home.

John Lawrence went before a Buchanan County judge Monday morning and told the judge he's not guilty of the child molestation charge. His lawyer argued that he should be granted bond because he's not a flight risk.

"Mr/ Lawrence has never been in any trouble before, he's 62 years old, he's never even been charged with a crime," said his lawyer James Nadolski.

The police report is is vague but says that the victim and suspect said the abuse went on for one to two years. But Nadolski says he's still investigating that.

"Allegedly my client gave a statement to authorities that he was involved in this," he said, "this got started apparently by the young lady making statements of allegations concerning this."

Lorri Reiser came to court Monday because she fears the victim is her granddaughter.

"And now knowing she's not safe because he's out, could have some bad effects on her," she said.

Reiser's daughter is addicted to meth and gave up her two kids, so Reiser is raising her grandson but says she couldn't raise both kids alone. Her granddaughter went to foster parents, John and Sharon Lawrence, who then filed for adoption.

But Reiser's ex-husband in New York also wanted to adopt the little girl. Fox 4 investigated covered the heated legal battle some six years ago. A judge eventually ruled that the girl had been with the Lawrence's for so long, it would be too traumatic to move her. Ever since the Lawrence's adopted her, Reiser says no blood family has been allowed to contact her.

Now with these abuse allegations, Reiser hopes her granddaughter knows that her family never stopped fighting for her.

"I hope that in their hearts they will do the right thing and return her to her family or at least let us have contact with her," said Reiser.

The judge set the bond at $75,000 and Nadolski says as a condition of his bond he will have no contact with the girl, who is living at home. The lawyer says Nadolski will be living in an apartment his pastor will help set up for him.


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