24-year-old Dakota Williams sentenced to 31.5 years in prison
FLORENCE, AZ (6/25/14) – On Monday, the Pinal County Attorney’s Office requested Dakota Williams be sentenced to 31.5 years in the Arizona Department of Corrections and Honorable Judge Bradley Soos, who presided over the trial, agreed.
On November 14, 2013, a Pinal County Jury returned guilty verdicts on seven out of the eight sex-related charges filed against Dakota Williams, 24 of Coolidge, AZ.
During the trial, prosecutors proved that Williams sexually assaulted two individuals within a one-month span - a Coolidge man on January 27, 2013 and a woman needing a ride from Casa Grande to Phoenix on February 17, 2013. In both instances, he picked them up, drove to a remote location, sexually assaulted them, and left them. Three of the charges from the incident on January 27 included an additional allegation of being dangerous due to threatening the victim with the use of a knife.
The Coolidge Police Department and the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office investigated the sexual assaults, respective to their jurisdictions, working directly with the victims. In both instances, positive identifications during photo line-ups indicated Williams as the suspect. Once identified by the first victim, he was located in Casa Grande and the Casa Grande Police Department and Pinal County Sheriff’s Office effectuated his arrest, on March 26, 2013.
After being placed in custody, Williams admitted to sexual contact with both victims, but claimed it was consensual in both cases. He was indicted by a Pinal County Grand Jury on April 3, 2013 on eight counts, including those alleging his use of a knife.
In total, Williams was found guilty on four counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual abuse, one count of unlawful imprisonment, and one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Prosecutors believe Williams targeted the male victim due to his being a transvestite, who dresses as a woman, and the female victim due to her limited knowledge of English and the fact that she was searching for someone to give her a ride from a Casa Grande domestic violence shelter back to Phoenix, so she could report for work the next day.
Responding to the news of the sentencing, Pinal County Attorney Lando Volyes stated that, “Regardless of your race, age, national origin, gender or sexual preference, my office begins by believing. We gave this violent sexual criminal his day in court and the jury returned a unanimous verdict and strong message that Pinal County will not allow sexual predators to roam our streets. Thanks to good old fashion police work, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office and Coolidge Police Department ended this sexual predator's ability to prey on victims in Pinal.”
For more information, contact Jim Knupp at 520.866.6573 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.