Man convicted for lewd acts on BART trains

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(BCN)—A 53-year-old man was convicted Wednesday of multiple felony counts for masturbating and exposing himself on BART trains on at least three separate occasions, San Mateo County prosecutors said.

A San Mateo County Superior Court jury deliberated for 90 minutes before finding Jerome Dion Dawkins guilty of felony stalking, false imprisonment, making threats, lewd acts on children and indecent exposure for the incidents in April and May of 2015, prosecutors said.

Dawkins, a transient and registered sex offender, faces the possibility of life in prison when he is sentenced on Dec. 8.

He was accused during the 10-day trial of blocking a 24-year-old woman in a seat on a BART train in Daly City on April 22, 2015, then staring at her while masturbating, according to the district attorney’s office.

On May 5, 2015, a female victim was on a train at the San Francisco International Airport BART station when Dawkins called for her to look at him as he masturbated, prosecutors said.

The victim started to cry and Dawkins moved to sit next to her. She then got up and moved to another seat in the train car but Dawkins followed her, touched her leg and told her to stop crying and that he was going to make her pregnant, prosecutors said.

The victim got off the train and reported the incident to police.

A day later, Dawkins was on another BART train and exposed himself to a 24-year-old woman. Police soon arrived and arrested him after the victim identified him, prosecutors said.

Prior to the verdict, defense attorney John May filed a motion for a mistrial after learning that a court staff worker had mistakenly included a document listing Dawkins’ prior convictions with other court exhibits provided to the jurors, who had not been told of the defendant’s prior record during the trial.

However, Judge Barbara Mallach denied the motion after speaking with the jury. Ten of the 12 jurors said they did not review the document, while the two who said they saw it said they didn’t understand it and didn’t consider it during deliberations, prosecutors said.

May said today that he plans to file a motion for a new trial, calling the accidental disclosure of the document to jurors “troubling,” particularly in a case with a possible sentence of life in prison.

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