UPDATE: Ex-Forsyth County firefighter asks for a new trial in Dawson County child abuse case
The man’s motion for a new trial follows his May 2023 trial and conviction on child abuse-related charges.
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No leads in report of assault
Teen says man followed her home from bus stop
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Authorities continue to investigate reports that a 14-year-old girl was raped Nov. 5 after walking home from her school bus stop in the Fern Valley area of northwestern Dawson County.


Dawson County Sheriff’s Lt. Tony Wooten said the teenager said she saw an unknown white man in a field off Hwy. 136 as she walked toward her house from the bus about 4 p.m. that day.


Wooten said the teen described the suspect as a white man in his 40s with long, black hair and a closely shaven beard. He was last seen wearing a black shirt with buttons and blue jeans.


“The man entered the home from a back door of the residence and allegedly raped the teen,” said Wooten, adding that no arrests have been made in the case.


A school counselor alerted authorities to the incident Thursday, nearly a week after the alleged assault occurred.


Wooten said the teen had told friends, who then reported the incident to the counselor.


An investigator spent Thursday night attempting to gather evidence of the alleged assault.


“At this point, attempts to obtain physical evidence have been unsuccessful,” Wooten said.


Sheriff’s deputies have increased patrols before and after school at bus stops, according to authorities. 


“We have also placed several deputies and school resource officers in the area where the alleged incident occurred,” Wooten said.


School Superintendent Keith Porter prepared a message to notify parents Friday afternoon through the school’s computerized phone system. He also sent letters home with students.


“The sheriff’s department has been carrying out their investigation,” Porter said. “Our role has been to try to inform parents regarding the allegations in a timely manner.” 


Wooten said Friday the sheriff’s office “has worked closely with the school system to make parents aware of the details we have just learned.”