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A former Bruceville-Eddy Police Department officer has been charged after reportedly arranging to have sexual intercourse with a minor.

Paul J. Gately and Rissa Shaw with our partners at News 10 report that 32-year-old Nathaniel George Lawrence was arrested Tuesday and charged with prostitution of a minor and sexual assault.

Police began investigating this case on January 21, when staff at McLane Children's Hospital in Temple alerted police that a teenage patient under the age of 17 might be a victim of sex trafficking.

Rhiannon Saegert with the Waco Tribune-Herald reports that the victim spoke with deputies about having communicated with a police officer via Facetime, and that they'd met on at least one occasion last fall to have sex in exchange for money.

With the child's permission, the deputy contacted the officer again while posing as the boy and arranged another meeting. The person on the other end of the conversation ended up being officer Lawrence.

KWTX reports that Lawrence is now officially no longer with the Bruceville-Eddy Police Department.

Sadly, it sounds as if this child has been involved with other men in exchange for money and other goods besides Lawrence. While that is absolutely awful, I hope that he can be saved from that life now that police are aware of his situation.

Human trafficking continues to be a nightmarish problem around the world, including here in Texas.

If you're a victim of human trafficking or suspect it's happening in your neighborhood, please contact local police or reach out to the Human Trafficking Hotline at 1 (888) 373-7888 or humantraffickinghotline.org. You can also text HELP or INFO to 233733.

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