Man charged in heroin for sex plot

A Brown County business owner is charged with forcing eight separate heroin addicts to engage in sex acts for drugs.
Thomas Sawyers was indicted by a Brown County Grand Jury on June 29 on a total of 26 felony charges.
Eight of those charges are Trafficking in Persons-Commercial Sex Acts.
The charges allege that Sawyers “did knowingly recruit, lure, entice…another person when the offender knew that the other person would be compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire (or) engage in a performance that is obscene, sexually oriented or nudity oriented.”
Sawyers, who was recently injured in a farming accident, is on house arrest on a $100,000 bond.  An arraignment date for Sawyers had not been set as of press time.
Brown County Assistant Prosecutor Daniel Breyer said that Sawyers could possibly have been charged with more counts of Trafficking in Persons, but that the statute of limitations on the charge is six years.  That means that any similar activity prior to June 2011 would be outside that timeframe.
Sawyers is also charged with one count of Rape, based on alleged activity by him in February of 2016.
In addition to the sex related charges, Sawyers faces two counts of Trafficking in Drugs for allegedly selling Percocet to individuals in 2014 and 2015.  The charges are fourth degree felonies.
The remaining 15 charges are for allegedly Trafficking in Drugs and Trafficking in Heroin.  All of those charges are fifth degree felonies.
Sawyers has retained local attorney Bruce Wallace to represent him.
Regarding the charges, Wallace said “Mr. Sawyers has been aware of this investigation for quite some time.  Mr. Sawyers will continue to proclaim his innocence of the charges.  I intend to vigorously defend him and that claim.”
Breyer said that many of the victims were initially afraid to come forward because they believed that Sawyers was being protected by a “higher authority” in the county.
A complete interview with Breyer about the history of the case will be published in the July 6 News Democrat.