Dominic Lawton, was convicted this past week by a jury in Dekalb County for raping at least three women in 2016. The incidents occurred while Lawton was a student at Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta. According to reports, Lawton met at least three women online, offered to take them on dates, then met with them in person. Each one of the victims reported that he forced them into his red pickup truck and forced them to have sex with him.
Lawton has been sentenced to three consecutive life sentences in prison. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, his DNA has also matched a cold case for rape in Tift County.
As a Georgia Sex Crimes Lawyer, I will outline the law behind rape and clear up some misunderstandings with the criminal offense.
Rape in Georgia
Rape in Georgia is defined by Georgia Law in O.C.G.A. § 16-6-1 as:
A person commits rape when he has carnal knowledge of a female forcibly against her will or a female less than 10 years of age.
When most people reference rape, they are most likely referring to statutory rape in Georgia. Statutory rape occurs when someone has sexual intercourse with a person under the age of 16. The law states that a person under 16 years of age cannot legally consent to sex. Therefore, having sex with them violates the statute.
Another point of clarity is that Georgia considers rape as between a man and a woman. If the rape was between two men then the criminal offense is aggravated sodomy in Georgia. If the rape was between two women then the criminal offense is sexual battery in Georgia.
Rape is classified as a serious felony. If a defendant is convicted of rape by taking their case to trial, they can face life in prison without parole, or a statutory minimum of 25 years in prison followed by lifetime probation.
Many times, individuals are falsely or wrongfully accused of rape. A Georgia Sex Crimes Attorneycan help in the case of a wrongful accusation.
Moreover just as with most other sex crimes in Georgia, in addition to prison, fines, or both, a person over 21 years of age that is convicted of rape must register as a sex offender with the state of Georgia for life. The Georgia Sex Offender Registry is a lifetime registration unless removed by the court.
If you or a loved one has been arrested for a sex crime, contact our offices today.