Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Trial set in child sex-abuse case

Local actor pleads not guilty to felony charges


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

Dawson Howard

    A June 11 jury trial has been scheduled for a 31-year-old Ketchum resident charged with two felonies for an alleged sexual encounter in 2011 with a 14-year-old girl.
    Dawson Howard pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday in Blaine County 5th District Court to charges of rape and lewd conduct with a child under 16. Judge Robert Elgee advised him that both crimes are punishable in Idaho by up to life in prison.
    Howard remains free on $30,000 bond. He is represented by Hailey attorney Douglas Werth under Werth’s public defender contract with Blaine County.
    Howard was arrested on the charges on Jan. 14 following a lengthy investigation by the Blaine County Sheriff’s Office. The arrest followed a Blaine County grand jury indictment issued on Jan. 11.
    A probable-cause affidavit, which typically describes an investigation and the reason that a person has been charged, is not available in the Howard court file. However, Sheriff Gene Ramsey earlier said Howard allegedly had sex with the 14-year-old girl at a home in Ketchum on Aug. 20, 2011. Ramsey said Howard had met the girl in 2008 when he was a camp counselor and the girl was enrolled in a drama camp.
    Howard is known in the Wood River Valley for his appearances in theatrical and musical productions.


Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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