LOGAN — The rape trial for a 24-year-old former Utah State football player, Lamar A. Dawson has been postponed to next year. The case, originally filed in April 2019, was supposed to go to trial in August and then in January of next year but continues to be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A pre-trial conference for Dawson took place 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, despite the Utah Supreme Court’s restrictions on public hearings. He asked for a continuance for next year, when coronavirus restrictions will hopefully be lifted.
Judge Brandon Maynard set a pretrial conference for Feb. 22.
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.