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April 1, 2016

Former instructor faces charges

GeorgeJoe McIntyre/staff photographer
The auto shop at The William George Agency for Children’s Services is shown above. Former automobile instructor Derrick Lawrence, 54, of Preble, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child, misdemeanors, and four counts of second-degree harassment, violations.

By JACOB DeROCHIE
Staff Reporter
jderochie@cortlandstandard.net

FREEVILLE — Sexually explicit videos, offensive comments and threats arethe reasons a former instructor at The William George Agency for Children’s Services has been fired and arrested, authorities said.
The New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs announced the arrest of Derrick Lawrence, 54, of Preble, in a news release issued Thursday.
Lawrence, the former automobile repair instructor, was charged with three countsof endangering the welfare of a child,misdemeanors, and four counts of second-degree harassment, violations. Thecharges were the result of allegations that Lawrence watched sexually explicit videos with students while in his office, the release states.
Lawrence was also accused of making offensive comments about bestiality and calling the youths criminals. He also threatened to burn one of the youths, according to the state agency.
The William George Agency for Children’s Services, 380 Freeville Road, Freeville, provides a residential environment for at-risk youth.
“I have no further comments other than Mr. Lawrence is no longer employed (with the agency),” Ronald Trumino, chief operating officer at William George Agency, said Thursday afternoon.
Lawrence was arraigned Wednesday in Dryden Town Court by Justice Jules Ravo and released without bail He is scheduled back in court on May 4.
Officials of the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs were unavailable for comment Thursday afternoon.

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