Dominic Lawton (Credit: DeKalb jail)

GSU student charged in off-campus rapes due in court

A 30-year-old now-suspended Georgia State University student suspected in two off-campus rapes is due in court Tuesday.

Dominic Lawton, a reported U.S. Air Force vet and martial arts “expert,” faces charges of rape and kidnapping in DeKalb County in each case, according to jail records. Police have said he was considered a suspect in four rapes, but Maj. Stephen Fore said Monday morning that Lawton is only a suspect in two.

Lawton is set to face a judge at 9 a.m. for a probable cause hearing to determine whether the state has enough evidence to proceed with the prosecutions.

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Lawton’s attorney, Elizabeth Taxel, has said Lawton “maintains his innocence.”

Police have so far only released information on one of the alleged rapes. Warrants say Lawton kidnapped a prostitute from the Super 8 motel on Snapfinger Road near Lithonia and raped her at Exchange Park off I-20. 

It is said to have taken place after 2:30 a.m. on Sept. 14. The victim had received a call and text messages from a man requesting her “services.” 

Once the man arrived, he allegedly showed a gun, forced her into a red pickup truck and raped her at Exchange Park, first laying out a towel. She was dropped off at the hotel afterward. 

Lawton was also accused in an attempted rape with similar circumstances in the city of Marietta in 2012, though the charges were later dropped.

He remains in the DeKalb County jail without bond.

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