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Man sentenced after entering guilty plea in sex offense case

October 07, 2005|By PEPPER BALLARD

A 28-year-old Hagerstown man was sentenced Thursday to serve four years in prison and ordered to register as a sex offender after he pleaded guilty to having sex in the summer of 2004 with a 13-year-old girl and impregnating her.

Brian Joseph Dawson, whose last known address was 324 N. Locust St., was sentenced to serve 10 years, all but four suspended by Circuit Judge Donald E. Beachley, who later ordered him to register as a sex offender upon his release.

Dawson pleaded guilty Thursday to third-degree sex offense. Washington County Assistant State's Attorney John Dunlap said Dawson had sex with the girl between late July 2004 and early August 2004 at his apartment. The girl became pregnant and had an abortion. It was determined Dawson was the father of the unborn baby, he said.

Dawson, when given a chance to speak, told Beachley, "I understand it was tough what she went through. If I would have known her age to begin with, I wouldn't have made this mistake."

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Dawson claimed the girl "kept calling and coming around."

Beachley asked Dawson why he couldn't tell that the girl was 13 years old, but Dawson replied that people had told him she was older.

The sex was consensual with "as much consent as there can be by a 13 year old," Dunlap said.

Beachley said ordering Dawson to register as a sex offender is "warranted."

"Your behavior is reprehensible, in some ways disgusting," Beachley said.

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