Georgia man sentenced to life for raping women at Decatur parks

A DeKalb County jury has found a 33-year-old Ocilla man guilty of multiple counts of rape, kidnapping, and false imprisonment.

Police say that Dominic Lawton held multiple young women at gunpoint and forced them to perform sex acts in DeKalb County in 2016, and they say he may be connected to another case.

According to the DeKalb County District Attorney, the first case connected to Lawton happened on Sept. 14, when an 18-year-old woman reported to DeKalb Medical Center saying she was kidnapped and raped.

The woman said she scheduled a date with Lawton after posting an ad on an adult website, but when she met him, he flashed a gun, drove to Decatur's Exchange Park, and forced her to perform sex acts while he held her at gunpoint.

Less than a month later on Oct. 9, detectives were called back to DeKalb Medical Center after a 21-year-old woman reported a similar story. She said she had arranged a date after posting an ad on an adult website. This time, officials say Lawton claimed he needed to stop at an ATM before heading to his apartment, but instead he headed to Decatur's Mason Mill Park and ordered her to undress at gunpoint. 

On Oct. 12, officers patrolling Exchange Park spotted Lawton's truck. When they approached the vehicle, Lawton put on his shirt and then tried to drive away. When he was ordered to stop, officials say a 17-year-old woman ran out toward the patrol car saying that he had forced her to go with him to the park and ordered her to undress.

After being arrested, investigators linked Lawton to all three assaults as well as another that happened on June 2016. Officials say his DNA also came back as a match from a previously untested rape kit which was part of a Cold Case Sexual Assault Task Force investigation.

A judge has sentenced Lawton to three consecutive life sentences plus 10 years in prison.