DOCUMENT: Sex, Crime

Man, 83, Facing Prostitution Rap Over Loan Offer

Octogenarian offered "sexual favors" to woman, 33


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Loan Payback Sex

NOVEMBER 3--An 83-year-old Iowa man is facing a prostitution charge after allegedly offering to perform sex acts on a woman 50 years his junior in return for forgiving a loan she owed to the octogenarian.

Ben Clifford Dawson was named Tuesday in a pair of criminal complaints filed in Appanoose County. Pictured in the mug shot at right, Dawson was booked into the county jail and released after posting $2000 bond.

According to the complaints, Melissa Drew, 33, told the Centerville Police Department that she had received a loan from Dawson in late-June. When she got the money, Drew told cops, Dawson grabbed her and began kissing her neck against her will, “which caused her to be alarmed and fearful for her safety.”

Drew, who was loaned about $7000, also alleged that Dawson “offered to reduce the debt” if she allowed him to “perform sexual favors upon her for his pleasure on several occasions.”

While this offer caused her to be “upset and fearful,” Drew did not approach police until 10 days ago, after Dawson made “repeated phone calls…requesting the sexual favors.” He also made those requests in person, Drew told cops.

Dawson’s alleged predatory lending practices have been the subject of prior police reports, the complaints note. “The same sexual actions or requests have been recorded in the past in reports from at least three (3) separate former female tenants of the defendant,” police reported. Dawson, though, was not charged in connection with those allegations.

Along with being accused of prostitution (for offering to perform sexual acts in return for a debt reduction), Dawson was charged with assault with intent to commit sexual abuse for forcibly kissing Drew without her permission. (2 pages)