PRICE — A Carbon County man has admitted to attacking a woman in her own home and brutally raping her at knifepoint.
Dwaine Stacey Shaw, of Wellington, pleaded guilty Monday in 7th District Court to rape, forcible sodomy, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated burglary. The charges are all first-degree felonies.
In exchange for his plea, Carbon County prosecutors asked a judge to dismiss one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated robbery.
Shaw, 21, showed no visible emotion as Judge George Harmond explained the rights he was giving up by entering his plea. He quietly uttered "yes, sir," or "no, sir," to the judge's questions.
"I'm glad that (Shaw) finally took some responsibility. Not only for him, but so our victim can have some closure."
Meanwhile, the woman he attacked — seated at the back of the courtroom surrounded by her parents, the county's victim advocate and Wellington Police Sgt. Kelly Maynes — wiped away tears.
"She was going through it again," Maynes said, referring to the attack.
"This was a very violent and horrific incident that occurred," he said.
Shaw, dressed in a full-face clown mask and armed with a large knife, kicked in the door of the woman's apartment on Jan. 13 about 3 a.m. and raped her. The woman was able to escape and immediately reported the crime.
It took police four more months to arrest Shaw, a delay caused by a backlog for DNA testing at the Utah State Crime Lab.
Once in custody, however, Shaw cooperated with investigators.
"He provided the mask that he was wearing and also the weapon that was used," Maynes said.
"After seeing that mask, I can't imagine the horrific incident she went through with this individual wearing that mask," he said.
Shaw didn't just terrorize the woman he attacked. He also terrified the people who live in the apartment complex where the crime occurred, Maynes said. Police began responding to as many as three calls a day from tenants who were worried about their safety and the safety of their children, he said.
Having Shaw off the streets calmed those fears, the sergeant said. And with Shaw pleading guilty to four charges that could put him in prison for life, the sergeant hopes the woman Shaw attacked can have some of her fears allayed as well.
"We are a smaller community, and throughout this investigation I've gotten to know the victim very well," Maynes said. "That's made it a very emotional thing for me.
"I'm glad that (Shaw) finally took some responsibility," the sergeant said. "Not only for him, but so our victim can have some closure."
Shaw is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 26. He remains in the Carbon County Jail.