Jury trial set for former USU football player accused of rape

LOGAN — The rape case against a 24-year-old former Utah State football player has been set for trial. The jury trial for Lamar A. Dawson was scheduled for this summer after attorneys claimed they’d failed to work out a resolution.

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

Public defender Shannon Demler explained that he and prosecutors had been unable to reach a plea deal. He requested the case be set for a three day jury trial.

Judge Thomas Willmore set the trial for August 19. He also ordered Dawson to appear for a final pre-trial conference July 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, 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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