Ringleader in kidnapping, gang rape of Uptown woman gets life sentence

"Mr. Lawson is nothing more than a monster," read the victim's impact statement.
Author:
Publish date:
deonte_lawson

About a year and a half after he and two teens forcibly kidnapped a woman outside her Uptown apartment and gang-raped her, Deonte Lawson is headed to prison and never getting out again. 

The 24-year-old Minneapolis resident was sentenced on Thursday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

According to a release from the Hennepin County attorney's office, the sentence is the result of a grand jury indictment that allows for a life sentence "for particularly heinous sex crimes or a pattern of sex crimes."

It's a fitting description for what happened to the victim the night of Oct. 15, 2017. 

Charging documents say she was getting something out of the trunk of her car outside her apartment when three young men approached and forced her to get into the vehicle at gunpoint.

They drove to a White Castle for food — using her credit card to pay for it — while she was in the backseat, and then took her to a "secluded, wooded area," where she was forced to perform sex acts on the trio. 

She was also held by two of them while the other raped her. Afterwards, they took her to a remote, rural area in Washington County, where she managed to convince them to stop for gas — and used this moment to escape.

You can read more about her harrowing ordeal right here

The sentencing

At Thursday's sentencing, a victim advocate read the woman's impact statement, and it did not mince words about Lawson and the things he did that night.

She said that the defendant had taken away her "drive and outgoing personality" and replaced it with anxiety, post-traumatic stress syndrome and other physical and emotional scars."

“I am smarter, braver and stronger than Mr. Lawson ever counted on,” she wrote in the statement.

"I am a survivor. And I know I am not his first victim, but I am going to make damn sure I am his last. Mr. Lawson is nothing more than a monster. I looked him in the eyes during my testimony and I saw the cold, evil, lifelessness I remember seeing in Oct. 2017.”

Lawson's two accomplices, who were 16 and 17 at the time, have also been convicted in the case and are both expected to receive 12-year prison sentences.

All three were convicted with the help of DNA evidence. 

Sign up: Subscribe to our daily newsletters

Next Up

Adam Thielen

Report: Still on COVID-19 list, Thielen not expected to play Sunday

Thielen was placed on the COVID-19/Reserve list on Monday.

Image from iOS (19)

Mask-wearing, distancing a common sight on MOA's Black Friday

Thousands of shoppers were out and about on Black Friday despite the COVID-19 situation.

Tim Walz

Gov. Tim Walz, MDH react to record-setting COVID-19 deaths

Minnesota can expect further bad news over the coming weeks.

covid-19, coronavirus

Record 101 COVID-19 deaths reported in Minnesota

The figures are from Wednesday, with no update provided on Thanksgiving.

Screen Shot 2020-11-27 at 9.29.12 AM

Target reveals its 'Cyber Week' online deals

The sales will run from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5.

Minneapolis police

Mayor Frey, Minneapolis police chief reveal new 'no-knock' policy

The new policy for Minneapolis Police Department was announced Wednesday.

Teddy Bridgewater

Coller: It's a what-if Sunday with Teddy Bridgewater's return

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.

Ambulance hospital emergency

15-month-old girl's death being investigated by police in Fargo

The child died four days after being found unresponsive.

PD Shimmers closeup

Man with Parkinson's lights up Plymouth with synchronized light show

"The best medicine I have for my disease is what I try to do with the light show," Mike Justak said.

Related

McDonald's manager sentenced for raping teen employee

The former Maple Grove McDonald's manager pleaded guilty in November.

Man charged in brutal home invasion after police chase into WI

He was arrested Wednesday after crashing his truck in St. Croix Co.

Spearmint Rhino

Charge: Chaska man raped woman at Minneapolis strip club

A nationwide warrant has been issued for his arrest.

One of three men who kidnapped Alexandria teen sentenced

The girl managed to escape after 29 days in captivity.

Charges: Man raped, brutally stabbed woman he met at transit station

The woman was lucky to survive the attack, that left her with severe facial trauma.

Charges: Oregon businessman raped woman at Twin Cities hotel

It allegedly happened at the DoubleTree hotel on Nov. 30.