LOGAN — A 26-year-old former Utah State football player has been sentenced to six months in jail for sexually assaulting a woman in Logan three years ago. Lamar A. Dawson, who now lives in Illinois, was ordered to turn himself in at the Cache County Jail by May 6 to begin serving his incarceration.
Dawson was sentenced during a virtual hearing in 1st District Court Monday morning. He was originally charged with rape but later accepted a plea deal, pleading guilty to forcible sexual abuse, amended to a second-degree felony.
In 2019, the victim told Logan City Police officers that Dawson had raped her on the evening of February 14 after she had been drinking. He had went to her residence to return a speaker. The two had previously met on a social media app and had a friendship for several months.
When detectives spoke with Dawson, he first denied but later admitted to having sex. He said he lied about it originally because he was afraid the victim was trying to “pin” something on him.
During Monday’s sentencing, the victim continued to tell the court that Dawson had raped her. She described being haunted by depression and anxiety since the crime occurred, and asked the court to send the defendant to prison.
Cache County Deputy Attorney Griffin Hazard also asked the court for a prison sentence. He explained how on the night of the crime, the defendant and victim sent several text messages back and forth, discussing how she was too drunk to consent.
Defense attorney Shannon Demler angrily told the court his client wasn’t convicted of raping the victim. He noted that Dawson and the victim had differing opinions about what happened on the night in question, and that they had evidence showing the woman was not raped.
Demler asked the court to sentence Dawson to jail. He said the defendant was remorseful about what happened and had no criminal history.
Dawson spoke briefly, apologizing for the pain and hurt that he had caused. He said he was sorry for letting a lot of people down.
Judge Angela Fonnesbeck said this was a difficult case. She told Hazard, if prosecutors wanted Dawson to go to prison they shouldn’t have agreed to a plea deal.
Judge Fonnesbeck told Dawson that he still deserved incarceration. She said that what had happened could possibly have permanent impacts. She ordered him to serve 180 days in jail and then be placed on 48 months of probation.
Dawson was a member of the 2018 USU football team as a redshirt sophomore. He left the team shortly after being arrested and returned to his home in Chicago, Illinois.