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A jury trial for a former USU football player accused of sexual assault has been put off until the new year.

Lamar Anthony Dawson, 24, was charged in April 2019 with one count of first-degree rape.

During time set for a final pretrial conference on Monday, defense attorney Shannon Demler asked the court for a 90-day continuance in the case due to the uncertain status of jury trials in the 1st District Court.

Judge Brandon Maynard, due to inability to schedule jury trials at this time, set Dawson to appear for a status conference on Feb. 22. Dawson’s three-day jury set for January was struck from the court’s calendar.

In February 2019, according to an arrest warrant affidavit, Dawson was asked by the alleged victim to return a speaker. Dawson went to the victim’s home, returned the speaker, and left but continued communication.

Police wrote the alleged victim told Dawson she had been drinking and invited Dawson back to the home.

“But don’t expect sex because I’m not in the right mindset to make that decision,” the victim told Dawson, according to police.

Police wrote the alleged victim was on a new medication that intensified the effects of alcohol and only recalled “various moments” of the assault. The following morning the alleged victim asked Dawson if they had sex and Dawson denied sex occurred, police wrote.

When questioned by police, however, Dawson admitted to having sex with the alleged victim, stating she was “aggressive” and denied she was too drunk to consent. Dawson said he lied because he was afraid the victim was trying to “pin” something on him, police wrote, and denied “initiating any of the behavior.”

Currently, jury trials and in-person hearings are suspended as courts in the 1st District are in a “red phase.” Per CDC guidelines, Cache County would need 14 days of sustained or decreased infection rates to petition the Utah Judicial Council for a move to a “yellow phase.” Cache County was approved for a move to the yellow phase on Aug. 19 after being petitioned by the presiding judge, but was moved back to red after nearly a month due to heightened infection rates.

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