WENATCHEE — The owner of Veterans Warehouse Thrift Store was sentenced to 75 days in jail for sexually assaulting a woman in his store.

Thelbert “Thad” Lawson, 55, was found guilty of fourth-degree assault on July 21 by a Chelan County District Court jury.

Judge Kyle Mott on Tuesday sentenced Lawson to 75 days in jail and two years on probation.

The victim told police she went to Veterans Warehouse in April 2019 to pick up community service paperwork and a phone charger for her husband, who worked at the store to fulfill court-required duties, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in District Court.

She told police Lawson asked for a hug in exchange for the charger and during the hug he picked her up by the buttocks, pinned her against a wall and said, “We can make this work,” according to the affidavit.

She said no and shoved her way out of his arms. Her husband reported the incident to police.

Mott’s sentence called for 364 days in jail with 289 days suspended. If Lawson violates the terms of his probation, which includes committing no new crimes, assaultive, harassing or threatening conduct, and a no-contact order with the victim, he’ll be required to serve the remaining 289 days of the sentence.

In 2012, Lawson spent 20 days after he pleaded guilty in a similar case.

Lawson, then employed at the YWCA Thrift Store, was supervising two teen girls who worked at the store as part of their community service when he allegedly offered to sign off on their required hours if they exposed themselves to him by lifting their shirts.

He denied the accusations but pleaded guilty because he admitted he’d likely lose at trial.

Lawson also served 15 years in prison after a jury found him guilty in 1992 of attempting to hire a hit man to kill his then-wife.

Pete O’Cain: (509) 664-7152

ocain@wenatcheeworld.com or

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