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Prostitution Suspect’s Case Moves to Federal Court

Joseph Dawson
Kevin Koile – TownSquare Media

A Colorado man arrested in Casper and charged in Natrona County District Court with multiple sex crimes will be tried in federal court.

Joseph Jovon Dawson of Aurora, Colo., has been charged with one count of sex trafficking of a child, and one count of transporting a minor for illegal sexual activity, according to the July 24  indictment, which was unsealed by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Nancy Freudenthal on Wednesday.

The indictment also authorized the government to seize any of his property related to the crimes.If convicted, he faces at least 20 years to life behind bars.

Dawson made his initial appearance in federal court in Casper on Tuesday, and will appear for his arraignment and detention hearings in federal court in Casper at 3:30 p.m. Friday.
Dawson was arrested on June 21 after Casper Police contacted a female who was advertising escort services. An undercover officer agreed to meet her at a hotel parking lot on June 21. Officers arrested her and learned that she was under 18 and was listed as a missing endangered person in the National Crime Information Center database.

Meanwhile, another vehicle had entered the parking lot about the same time the girl did. Officers approached and asked the lone male occupant, Dawson, to identify himself. After being read his Miranda rights, Dawson said he was involved in a prostitution operation. He also admitted to bringing two other girls of unknown ages to Casper from Colorado for the sole purpose of prostitution.

Dawson, 30, was charged with promoting prostitution, sexual servitude of a minor and sexual exploitation of children.

Assistant District Attorney Mike Schafer said those charges did not involve interstate trafficking.

While Dawson pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in Natrona County District Court on Tuesday, the state case is of no importance now. Wednesday, Natrona County District Court Judge Thomas Sullins granted Shafer’s motion to dismiss the case.

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