Dawan Ferguson, 49, the St. Louis man who last month was found guilty of murdering his disabled son in 2003, was today found guilty of more child abuse including first degree statutory rape of a person less than 14 years old, first-degree statutory sodomy of a person less than 14 years old, second-degree statutory rape, second-degree sodomy and second-degree child molestation.
Testimony in the trial was gruesome and tragic to hear. According to one of the victims, who took the stand during the trial, Ferguson started grooming her when she was 11. In addition, he showed her porn on her pink Minnie Mouse TV and, when she was 13, got her pregnant.
Today marked the second day of testimony and Ferguson took the stand, recounting to the jury a bizarre defense which hinged on immaculate conception — that a child was born in absence of sex having occurred.
The abuse came to light in 2019 in a divorce filing.
According to a St. Louis County Police probable cause statement, Ferguson sexually abused two children on multiple occasions from 2000 until 2013. One victim was over the age of 14 when the assaults took place. She took the stand and described Ferguson groping her and getting into bed with her, then explaining that that is what happens when adults drink.
The other victim was 11 when Ferguson started grooming her and 13 when she became pregnant due to Ferguson raping her.
Faced with this seemingly overwhelming evidence, Ferguson took the stand today and admitted that there was a child of which he was the father and the unnamed victim the mother, however Ferguson denied having sex with the victim.
Ferguson instead claimed that the 13-year-old child found a used condom that Ferguson had used to masturbate, and inseminated herself with it.
Ferguson testified that he often masturbated into condoms in the hopes it would cure his erectile dysfunction.
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell referred to Ferguson's farfetched testimony as a performance put on by a man who is "a narcissist of the highest order."
"That performance, and that's the word I'll use for it, reminded me of a quote from one of my favorite movies, Pulp Fiction," Bell says. "'My name’s Pitt, and your ass ain't talking your way out of this shit.'"
Bell adds, "I think, in his mind, he thought he was smarter than everyone and he could talk his way out of hard DNA evidence."
It also came out in court that Ferguson took the victim to an abortion clinic, but she was too far along in the pregnancy to safely have the procedure.
Ferguson then instructed her to conceal the pregnancy by wearing a tight girdle. He told her to pretend that she was gaining and to start exercising, running up and down hills, as if she was trying to lose the new pounds. He also told her to say that some boy from her school had gotten her pregnant.
"I can only imagine the terror that those children dealt with and had to live with for most of their lives, living with this individual," Bell says.
Later on, Ferguson visited the victim again at her college. He again had sex with her, and she became pregnant a second time. This pregnancy ended in abortion.
The victim stated in court she dropped out of school and had a mental breakdown as a result of Ferguson's sexual abuse.
In 2018, the victim disclosed to her mother what had happened.
Soon thereafter she told her story to police.
Feguson sent the victim’s mother, whom he knew, Facebook messages that further undermined his story. He swore he wasn’t a pedophile. He also said that he was under suspicion due to another situation and thought the two would get conflated and he would go to jail. The other situation may have been the disappearance of his son Christian.
From the start, law enforcement met Ferguson's story with open skepticism.
It took 16 years, but in 2019, Bell took another look at the cold case and that year filed murder charges against Ferguson for the death of Christian. In the ensuing trial, it came to light that Ferguson had grossly abused Christian when he had full custody. In 2003 Christian's mother, Theda Person, was likely to regain custody. Panicked that his abuse would come to light, Ferguson concocted a cover story about the carjacking when in fact he had murdered his son.
On July 1, a jury handed down a guilty verdict for murder in the first degree. Sentencing for that case is August 16. His rape and child molestation sentencing will be September 16.
"He couldn't talk his way out of it," Bell says of Ferguson. "He's going to be spending his life, and if he is reincarnated he's going to spend a couple more, serving life sentences."