Ryan Lawton, 41, currently an attorney in Bell County and a former Coryell County assistant district attorney, was arrested Friday and charged with continuous family violence against a family member, a third-degree felony.
Lawton was later released on a $15,000 attorney bond.
An assistant district attorney under former Coryell County District Attorney David Castillo beginning Jan. 8, 2007, Lawton continued in that position under current District Attorney Dusty Boyd until August 2015 when he was put on paid administrative leave. He resigned Oct. 1, 2015.
Currently, Lawton is an attorney in Brett Pritchard’s law firm, Pritchard verified. Pritchard is also representing Lawton.
An arrest affidavit detailed the charges against Lawton after a Texas Ranger investigation.
The Cleburne Police Department was notified that Lawton allegedly physically assaulted his wife more than twice within a year.
Lawton’s wife said the abuse started shortly after they were married, but was verbal at first. The assaults escalated into physical assaults, including pushing her onto the ground, where she hit her head and “blacked out,” the affidavit said. Lawton’s wife said she locked herself into the bathroom afterward.
His wife told about another time when Lawton threw a cellphone and hit her in the back. She showed the investigators several bruises from his reported assaults, which looked like they were in different stages of healing.
The affidavit said the couple’s three children watched the assaults.
Other assaults listed in the affidavit included four incidents from June 2015 until Aug. 30, 2015.
Lawton allegedly hit his wife on her forehead, spit in her face and pushed her out of the car at an intersection. In another incident, he reportedly threw her on the floor and kicked her in her crotch before throwing her on the couch and kicking her more. The affidavit listed several other violent attacks, and the investigator mentioned seeing large bruises on different parts of her body.
Pritchard released a statement Monday that said the charges are almost a year old, although the arrest was a new development. He said Lawton and his wife, Cheryl, have reconciled.
Cheryl Lawton was quoted in Pritchard’s release as saying, “Ryan and I have been married over 15 years. We have three children and a wonderful family. These are allegations that I do not want pursued, and I thought were behind us. I cannot imagine why they are coming forward at this time.”
Pritchard said Lawton wants the public to not judge him until all the facts come out and asked for privacy so the couple can “shield their children from public ridicule.”