83 year-old Centerville man arrested for prostitution

Ben Clifford Dawson, 83, of Centerville, Iowa

Centerville Police said they have arrested an 83-year-old man on charges of prostitution.

The investigation of Ben Clifford Dawson of Centerville began on October 22.

Dawson is listed as a candidate for Centerville City Council.

According to police, they received a complaint that Dawson had offered to perform sex acts on a woman in exchange for repayment of a loan.

Dawson allegedly grabbed the victim and began kissing her without consent.

As a result, Dawson faces two aggravated misdemeanor charges: prostitution and intent to commit sexual abuse.

He was released from the Appanoose County Jail after posting $2,000 bond.In an exclusive interview with KTVO on Thursday, Dawson spoke to defend himself against the charges that have been filed.

Dawson told KTVO; first and foremost that he is innocent of both the Prostitution Charge and the Charge of Assault with Intent to Commit Sexual Abuse.

"I have never touched the woman in my life and I am willing to take a lie detector test if she is; because I have done nothing to this woman," said Dawson.

The person that court records identify as the victim, told police that Dawson grabbed and began kissing her neck after receiving money that Dawson was allegedly loaning her.

Dawson says he believes the charges are simply an attempt by the complaining party to avoid making good on her financial obligations to him.

"I am one of the most respected people in this town. As a veteran of two wars and a very active member in the community, things going on; I've just haven't done anything wrong. It's disgusting to think this would happen at 83 years old," said Dawson.

Dawson went on to say that despite the charges, he fully expects to win a seat on the Centerville City Council next Tuesday.

Centerville Police Chief Tom Demry told KTVO Thursday that his department stands by Dawson's arrest.