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Crandall man convicted of rape, faces 25 years to life

A Murray County jury of six men and six women on Thursday convicted a Crandall man of rape. Dakota Lee Choate, 22, of Crandall is scheduled to be sentenced by Superior Court Judge Scott Minter on March 11. Choate faces from 25 years to life in prison without parole during the first 25 years. The rape occurred in November 2018 when the victim, who knew the defendant, drove him willingly to a secluded area of his choosing where he then assaulted her. She reported the rape at Murray Medical Center where she went to receive treatment for injuries received during the assault, including a bite and scratches. A detective spoke to her at the hospital and then traveled to the location she described and took photographs. Choate was arrested a few days later and interviewed by the detective. Choate admitted to having sexual relations with the victim but claimed it was consensual. He testified at trial raising the same defense and presented other witnesses and evidence. In addition to the woman who filed the report, two other women testified that Choate had also sexually assaulted them. Poston says one had reported the assault to police in 2016, but no arrest had been made. The other woman had not previously reported the assault, but came forward after seeing media accounts of Choate's arrest in 2018. The District Attorney’s Office thanks the detective and other members of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office who worked hard to investigate the case and seek justice for the victim. The District Attorney’s Office also especially thanks the victim and the two prior victims for having the courage to come forward, to face their abuser and to tell the stories to the jury so that Choate could be held accountable for his crime.