PALMDALE (CBSLA) — A father and daughter stand accused of orchestrating a vicious rape and kidnapping, but the mother of one of the suspects — who’s also the ex-wife of the other — is defending her family and saying the victim’s story is completely made up.
CBS2/KCAL 9’s Jeff Nguyen got an exclusive interview with Nicola Lawton, mother of 22-year-old Shaniya Lawton and ex-wife of 54-year-old Stanley Lawton. Both are in jail, accused of abducting a woman from North Las Vegas at gunpoint and assaulting her in Antelope Valley.
Nicola Lawton says she first met the alleged victim on Friday, which is when she says she drove the woman and her own daughter to a child care class at a county building.
But the LA County Sheriff’s Department says the woman, who was in her 40’s, was found left for dead Wednesday outside of Edwards Air Force Base, dumped there after being sexually assaulted and beaten at a home in Palmdale.
Court papers say the victim was forced to pull money out of ATMs. Nicola Lawton says, however, that she drove the woman to an ATM as a favor.
She claims the woman spent time with her family but never said anything was wrong.
Nicola Lawton believes the accuser made up the story because Stanley was cheating on the alleged victim: “She does give him money, but doesn’t like the idea of him giving her money to wine and dine someone else.”
Deputies arrested Stanley Lawton on Wednesday and Shaniya hours later after the woman was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Nguyen asked Nicola why she asked her daughter to turn herself in. “I would rather for my daughter to go and tell the truth and not to be afraid of something,” she said. “Than to have her running from something she did not do. I told her the truth will set you free.”