The former operator of a Wenatchee charity and thrift store has been ordered to pay $1.5 million to a dozen women he sexually harassed while on the clock.

On Thursday, a jury in Chelan County found Thelbert M. "Thad" Lawson and his wife Karen Jean Monroe civilly liable for patterns of sexually-charged harassment and retaliation at Veterans Warehouse store locations in Kennewick and Wenatchee.

The jury deliberated for eight days after hearing testimony from victims that Lawson sexually harassed or physically groped them and subjected them to firing or other retaliation if any formal complaints were filed. The jury also heard testimony from Lawson himself denying the accusations.

The jury determined Lawson harassed seven of his store employees and five members of public, including volunteers and shoppers at the two stores, by "regularly commenting on and asking questions about their sex lives and asking them to expose their bodies to him".

NewsRadio 560 KPQ logo
Get our free mobile app

The 12 victims were awarded individual damages in amounts ranging from $20,000 to $275,000, and the $1.5 million total award also includes $17,000 in back wages owed to Lawson's employees who were victimized.

The lawsuit was filed by the Washington Attorney General's Office, who is also petitioning for court costs and fees from Lawson, as well as a motion barring him from being in any supervisory role of women in the future.

Lawson had previously been convicted of misdemeanor assault against a woman who shopped at the Veterans Warehouse store in Wenatchee in 2021.

More From NewsRadio 560 KPQ