A New Vienna man was sentenced to more than four years in prison after pleading guilty to a sexual offense on Wednesday, and after the judge gave him the opportunity to withdraw his guilty plea.
David Wayne Dawson, 39, pled guilty to gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. It’s an offense that occurred several years ago, according to the indictment as read by Highland County Common Pleas Court Judge Rocky Coss, and it was against a 7-year-old.
In the plea agreement, the state and defense jointly recommended 42 months in prison. It is a recommendation that prosecutor Anneka Collins said was worked out in the preliminary phases of the case.
But when the mother addressed the court she asked Coss to impose the maximum sentence, which is 60 months in prison.
According to the victim’s mother, her daughter is now nearly 13, and she didn’t tell anyone what had happened until last year. The mother said the trauma the girl kept inside manifested itself with her daughter hurting herself as a way to cope, and eventually trying to kill herself.
Now, the victim is in therapy and is on medication, her mother said, and she is doing better in life. But the mother is still afraid to leave her alone for fear that her daughter will harm herself.
After the victim’s mother asked the court for the maximum sentence, Coss called Collins and defense attorney J.D. Wagoner to the bench. Later, the judge said the victim’s mother’s request “undercut” the agreement. He said he should have asked if the mother was in agreement, not assumed that she was.
Wagoner conferred quietly with his client for a few moments and then told the court that the defendant would not be withdrawing his guilty plea and that he wished to proceed.
Wagoner said Dawson understood the situation, but he did not want to put the victim through a trial, and that Dawson would “take whatever happens.”
Coss sentenced Dawson to 54 months, just six months shy of the maximum penalty. Following the completion of his sentence he will be required to register every 180 days for 25 years as a Tier II sex offender. He will also be under five years of supervision by the Adult Parole Authority once he is released from prison.
The judge said these types of cases “are always horrific,” and damage is always caused.
In other hearings, Shawn Parr, 33, Greenfield, pled guilty to fifth-degree felony marijuana possession.
Parr was recently sentenced to community control and treatment in another case, but Collins said the timing of the offenses was such that the most recent case was not a violation of his supervision. She said the state would still be recommending community control and treatment.
Parr is scheduled to be sentenced next month.
Timothy J. Anteck, 27, Hillsboro, was granted judicial release from prison to the residential STAR treatment facility.
Anteck pled guilty to third-degree felony heroin possession last July and was sentenced to 30 months in prison. It was his first felony conviction.
Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.
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