Jury trial rescheduled for former USU football recruit accused of rape

LOGAN — The rape trial for a 25-year-old former Utah State football player, Lamar A. Dawson has been rescheduled for next year. The case, originally filed in April 2019, has been postponed multiple times during the past two years, partially because of in-person restrictions from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dawson participated in a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning. He was previously charged with rape, a first-degree felony.

Public defender Shannon Demler explained they still wanted to push ahead with a jury trial after being unable to work out a plea deal. He asked for the continuance for next year.

Judge Brandon Maynard set the four-day jury trial for March 15 through the 18. A final pretrial conference was also scheduled for Feb. 28.

According to police officers, the victim originally met Dawson on a social media app. The two had a friendship for several months. On the evening of February 14, 2019, the two exchanged multiple text messages when Dawson was asked to return a speaker to her. During the exchanges, the woman admitted several times to being very intoxicated after drinking half a bottle of vodka.

The victim claimed that she could only remember portions of the rest of the night, including Dawson coming over to her apartment and watching TV in her bedroom. They began kissing and the next thing she remembered, he was allegedly raping her.

The police report states that when detectives spoke with Dawson, he first denied but later admitted to having sex. He said he lied about it previously because he was afraid the victim was trying to “pin” something on him.

Demler claimed previously that Dawson’s relationship with the victim was always consensual.

Dawson previously pleaded “not guilty” to the crime. He was a member of the 2018 USU football team as a redshirt sophomore. He is no longer listed on the current team roster and is living in Chicago, Illinois.


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1 Comment

  • Cynthia October 19, 2021 at 3:13 pm Reply

    I’m proud of the victim for filing a report. Consent requires the ability to make a clear headed decision. If it isn’t an enthusiastic yes then it’s a no. Let’s support this young woman in a difficult process.

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