Dawson denied the charges that he solicited the photos from the students, telling investigators that they were voluntarily sent to him by the students. Notwithstanding his denial of the solicitation charge, he agreed to resign his position at the Wanette school.
The allegations against Dawson contain some disturbing elements. In an affidavit, the 16-year-old student says that Dawson provided her with a cell phone so that they could communicate without being discovered. She told investigators that she was worried that she would not pass her math class with Dawson if she did not send him nude photos.
Dawson allegedly told investigators that he did request the nude photos from the girls, but deleted them after viewing them. He entered a not guilty plea on two separate counts: one for instigating sexual conduct with a minor by use of technology and one for possession of juvenile pornography. His next court appearance is scheduled for October 27, 2015.
The news of the charges against Dawson stirred up long-suppressed memories for one of Dawson’s former basketball players. Speaking anonymously, the former player said that fifteen years earlier, she had fallen in love with Dawson when he was coaching basketball in Purcell, OK. Even though she had her own cell phone (relatively unusual for a teenager at the time), she said that Dawson gave her another cell phone so that they could communicate with each other privately.
She told KFOR that she regrets not speaking up at the time.
It makes me sick to know that if I would have done something back then, or my parents or the school administration, then this would have not happened again. This can happen to anybody. Anybody can persuade you and I was manipulated by an adult.
Dawson has worked in at least four different school districts in Oklahoma, underscoring the need for better reporting and tracking of allegations of sexual misconduct by educators against students.
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