Possible plea deal coming for former USU football player accused of raping woman

LOGAN — Attorneys are working out a possible plea agreement for a 24-year-old former Utah State football player accused of raping a woman last year.

A pre-trial conference for Lamar A. Dawson took place in 1st District Court Monday morning. He was previously charged with rape, a first-degree felony.

Public defender Shannon Demler explained that he had been discussing the options of a plea deal with prosecutors but needed more time. He said the process had taken longer than expected because the victim’s attorney is also involved. Details of the agreement were not disclosed.

Judge Thomas Willmore said he would allow more time to resolve the case. He scheduled another pre-trial conference for March 10.

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, the two exchanged multiple text message, 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 red-shirt sophomore. He is no longer listed on the current team roster and is living in Chicago, Illinois.


Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!


  • Dennis Brown February 3, 2020 at 12:32 pm Reply

    ‘Public defender Shannon Demler explained that he had been discussing the options of a plea deal with prosecutors but needed more time. He said the process had taken longer than expected because the victim’s attorney is also involved.” Heaven forbid they involve the victim’s attorney! Let’s just think of the guy who committed the rape. Are these people being paid to negotiate all the time instead of prosecuting crimes?

  • Carole W February 4, 2020 at 8:56 am Reply

    A consensual relationship and alcohol does not mean rape is ok. It’s never ok. Start prosecuting rape.

  • Cynthia Mikesell February 4, 2020 at 9:06 am Reply

    It’s clear from the article that there are text messages informing the perpetrator that the victim was not capable of consenting to sex prior to him going to her apartment. Why are we still victim blaming in 2020? If there had been enthusiastic consent why would the accused perpetrator lie and then recant the lie? Rapists need to be held accountable. We can do better Cache Valley.

  • Todd Milovich February 4, 2020 at 11:18 am Reply

    Whether there are texts or not, a requirement of consent is that it is sober! It doesn’t matter what the prior relationship has been. Being intoxicated does not make you fair game in your own home, or in the court! In every one of these cases the first defense is to blame the victim (the woman) she asked for it because she was drunk, dressed proactively, etc. Rape is rape! Dawson had the opportunity to say you’ve had too much to drink, I will respect you and leave. Or he could have stayed and made sure she was safe and ok and watched TV. He didn’t, he did what he wanted to in spite of her weakened condition. Why are we not teaching men to be decent, respectful, and considerate towards women rather than trying to justify their actions by blaming the woman!!

  • Anonymous Submission February 4, 2020 at 12:23 pm Reply

    Dear victims of Rape,

    I’m sorry that you were betrayed by someone you must have considered a friend. I’m sorry he and his attorneys are trying to reduce his accountability for his crime.

    I feel sorry for our society when I read that ESPN reports, “College athletes in recent years were about three times more likely than other students to be accused of sexual misconduct or domestic violence”, and that USU hasn’t done enough to address this problem amongst its football players.

    I’m sorry that reported rates of sexual assault among undergraduate women range between 14 to 32 percent.

    I’m sorry that you are being victim shamed for getting an attorney (how dare you), for drinking, for inviting someone into your apartment to watch tv. None of which is even close to giving consent.

    I’m sorry he denied the rape, and then likely realizing that dna would prove otherwise, he admitted to “having sex”.

    I’m sorry he then accused you of trying to “pin” something on him. Knowing you are drunk, he should have known better to not initiate anything.

    I’m sorry that his attorney thinks that it’s okay to speculate and spread information that your relationship with your rapist was always consensual.

    I’m sorry that the person that raped you cowardly plead “not guilty” causing you more pain and trauma for the past 12 months.
    Hopefully you will send a message to the Brock Turners and Torrey Greens out there.

    Thank you for your courage. Thank you for bringing awareness to this problem. Hopefully you will save others from being victims. Hopefully we can make our campuses safer places.

    There are people in the community who will believe you. We believe you. We support you through the public pain and personal pain you are going through.

Leave a Reply to Cynthia Mikesell Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.