A Missouri father who was found guilty last month of murdering his 9-year-old special needs son has now been convicted on a slew of additional charges for abusing other children. One of those victims gave birth to his child when she was only 15 years old, a jury found.
A jury in St. Louis on Tuesday found Dawan Ferguson guilty on one count each of first-degree statutory rape of a person less than 14 years of age, first-degree statutory sodomy of a person less than 14 years of age, second-degree statutory rape, second-degree sodomy, and second-degree child molestation, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
According to a report from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Ferguson groomed and sexually abused two of his ex-wife’s relatives on multiple occasions for more than a decade. The abuse reportedly began in 2000 and continued until some time in 2013.
The sexual abuse allegations first came to light when Ferguson’s then-wife in 2019 filed for a divorce, alleging that he’d been abusing two of her young relatives for years, even impregnating one of them.
One of the two victims on Tuesday testified about the abuse, reportedly telling jurors that as a child, she looked up to Ferguson and considered him a mentor. She reportedly explained that he began showing her pornography when she was just a child to “teach” her about sex before he began sexually abusing and raping her. The victim reportedly testified that she didn’t think to report the abuse because she did not realize that what Ferguson was doing to her was out of the ordinary.
Ferguson reportedly impregnated her for the first time when she was just 15 years old. The victim, now 26, reportedly said that Ferguson first tried to get her an abortion but was unsuccessful, then forced her to wear a girdle and workout by running uphill to hide her weight gain from others. Ferguson reportedly impregnated her a second time but the victim terminated the pregnancy.
Testifying in his own defense, Ferguson reportedly conceded that he was the father of the victim’s child, but claimed he never molested or raped the victim. Instead, Ferguson reportedly accused the victim of inseminating herself using a condom that he had masturbated into.
Ferguson last month was convicted of murdering his young son, Christian Ferguson, who disappeared in June 2003 and whose body has never been recovered.
The child was last seen with his father leaving home on June 11, 2003. Dawan Ferguson later called 911 and told the dispatcher that a carjacker took his maroon 1999 Ford Expedition with Christian still inside the vehicle. The search continued for years to no avail.
Authorities in St. Louis County, Missouri, finally pressed charges against Ferguson in 2019 after finding inconsistencies around his 911 call, such as a resident in the city of Ferguson saying the SUV had been parked in the same spot from the time of the 911 call until it was eventually found. Ferguson also had a cellphone when he made the 911 call from a pay phone, officials said, noting another one of the alleged inconsistencies.
Feguson is facing a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole when he appears for his sentencing hearing in the murder case later this month.
[image via St. Louis County Police Dept.]
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