District Attorney's Office


  

Conasauga Judicial Circuit of Georgia




   Serving Murray & Whitfield Counties

CHOATE CONVICTED OF RAPE

February 27, 2020 (Chatsworth) – A Murray County jury of 6 men and 6 women today convicted Dakota Lee Choate (22) of 442 Hwy 2 West, Crandall, Georgia, for one count of rape in a trial which began on Tuesday. Superior Court Judge Scott Minter presided over the trial. The State’s case was presented by Assistant District Attorney Ben Kenemer with assistance from the lead investigator, Detective Eric White of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office. Choate was represented by Cat Pyne and Micah Gates of the Public Defender’s Office who had filed a speedy trial demand on Choate’s behalf last summer. When such a demand is made, the State must try the case before a jury within that term of court or the next term of court or dismiss the case. Murray County has two terms of court per year starting the second Monday of February and August.

The rape occurred in November of 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. Detective White spoke to her at the hospital and then travelled to the location she described and took photographs. Choate was arrested a few days later and interviewed by Detective White. 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 victim, two other women testified for the State concerning prior sexual assaults committed against them by Choate. One had been reported to law enforcement in 2016 but no arrested was made. The other had never been reported previously but the victim came forward after she saw media accounts of Choate’s arrest in 2018.

Judge Minter scheduled Choate’s sentencing for March 11, 2020. Choate faces 25 years to life in prison with no parole possible during the first 25 years. The District Attorney’s Office would like to thank Detective White and other members of the Murray County Sheriff’s Office who worked hard to investigate the case and seek justice for the victim. We would also like to especially thank the victim and the two prior victims for having the courage to come forward, to face their abuser and tell the stories to the jury so that Mr. Choate could be held accountable for his crime.


Dakota Lee Choate, November 10, 2018, Murray County Jail



Bert Poston
District Attorney
Conasauga Judicial Circuit


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Bert Poston,
District Attorney


 ©2012 Conasauga District Attorney's Office   conasauga-da.org
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Bert Poston,
District Attorney


 ©2012 Conasauga District Attorney's Office   conasauga-da.org