Six years added to prison sentence for sex crime

PORT ANGELES — A convicted sex offender serving two years for child rape had more than six years added to his prison sentence Thursday for dealing in child pornography six months before sexually assaulting a 14-year-old boy.

Shawn Michael Dawson, 48, showed no remorse for the victim, who could have testified at trial, and is not amenable to treatment based on court records, Clallam County Superior Court Judge Lauren Erickson said.

Erickson sentenced Dawson to 75 months Thursday on the pornography charge, the highest end of the sentencing range.

She rejected a guilty plea agreement fashioned by Michele Devlin, chief criminal deputy prosecuting attorney, and Dawson’s lawyer, Clallam Public Defender lawyer John Hayden of Port Angeles, who recommended 60 months.

Erickson dismissed three charges of possessing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct in return for Dawson’s guilty plea to a single count of second-degree dealing in depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct.

Erickson imposed the highest end of the 57- to 75-month sentence range on Dawson, a former bartender who has lived in Port Angeles and whose last known address was Aberdeen before his state-prison incarceration in 2018.

Dawson is serving 26 months at Clallam Bay Corrections Center for third-degree rape of a 14-year-old boy in September 2016 and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes in April 2017. He was sentenced May 30, 2018.

A charge of distribution of a controlled substance — marijuana — to a minor was dropped.

Dawson’s maximum confinement was increased Thursday to 8½ years.

“My concern is that he is getting the benefit of, I guess, three counts being dismissed and also that, combined with the fact that he apparently has no remorse for anything he’s done, and no, I guess, empathy for the victims of these types of crimes, given that, I’m going to impose the high end of the range,” Erickson said.

Dawson pleaded guilty in 2018 to rape and communication for immoral purposes for the assault on the boy, who said Dawson raped him three times after hiring him to do yard work, according to court documents.

Dawson refused to participate in a risk-needs assessment interview for the pre-sentence investigation on the pornography charges, saying “he had signed a plea agreement and the interview won’t change anything,” according to the April 11 Department of Corrections report.

He declined to make a statement at his sentencing.

Dawson was viewing child pornography in March 2016 and raped the boy six months later, according Community Corrections Officer Gerald L. Brown, who submitted the report.

“It seems very likely that his interest in child pornography was a provocative factor in the rape that occurred six months later,” according to the report.

The pornography charges grew from a Homeland Security-FBI investigation in Asheville, N.C., involving a man who was arrested for investigation of distribution of child pornography.

The man had been communicating via email and exchanging child pornography with Dawson, who posed as a 12-year-old boy, according to court records.

A victim identified by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children could have testified had Dawson’s case gone to trial, Devlin said.

“Most survivors of child exploitation report that the distribution of their images impacts them differently that the original sexual abuse because the distribution never ends and the images are a permanent record of the original abuse,” Devlin said, quoting from the pre-sentence report.

“It is important to understand that the images and videos depict actual crimes perpetrated against vulnerable children.”

Upon Dawson’s release, his conditions include not living within 880 feet of public or private school, not being with minors younger than 18 or being present where they congregate, and not possessing electronic devices that can access the internet without prior authorization.

He also must submit to polygraph tests.


Senior Staff Writer Paul Gottlieb can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 55650, or at [email protected]

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