Jury trial postponed for former USU football player accused of rape

LOGAN — The rape trial for a 24-year-old former Utah State football player, Lamar A. Dawson has been rescheduled for next year. The case, originally filed in April 2019, was supposed to go to trial in August but has been delayed recently by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 wanted a jury to have a chance and decide the case, but recognized that in-court trials are not taking place currently. He asked for a 3-day trial to be scheduled for next year, when coronavirus restrictions will hopefully be lifted.

Judge Thomas Willmore rescheduled the trial to begin January 6. He also ordered Dawson to appear for a final pre-trial conference November 24.

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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