JURY: Man guilty of sexually battering two teens

A Springfield man faces life in prison after being found guilty of forcing his way into a home, holding and assaulting three residents at knifepoint, and sexually battering two teens.

Jason Dowdell, 38, was found guilty of three counts of Sexual Battery, three counts of False Imprisonment, three counts of Tampering with a Witness or Victim, Burglary, Child Abuse, three counts of Aggravated Assault, and Battery.

Jason Dowdell

Circuit Court Judge Shonna Young Gay set sentencing for Oct. 7 and ordered a Pre-Sentencing Investigation.

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Prosecutors Barbara Beasley and Jennifer Lieb presented evidence and testimony that the defendant, armed with a knife, forced his way into the home in May of 2021. Two of the victims were bound, evidence gathered by Springfield Police and Investigators showed, and all three were threatened. The defendant was found guilty of two counts of Sexual Battery against one of the victims.

Beasley and Lieb called 14 witnesses during the one-day trial, including the three victims, Florida Department of Law Enforcement experts and five Springfield police officers, including Chief Barry Roberts.

Altogether, 29 pieces of evidence including DNA findings and the knife used in the crime were shown to jurors.

The jury began deliberations around 5: 30 p.m. and returned with a verdict about 1 hour and 15 minutes later.

Basford thanked the Springfield Police Department for the case it put together and FDLE agents for their testimony.

For additional information please contact Mike Cazalas at mike.cazalas@sa14.fl.gov, or 850- 381-7454.