Sunday, October 19, 2003
Former church leader admits molestation
Nina Culver - Staff writer
Edward N. Davis, a former Spokane Valley Jehovah's Witness elder who pleaded guilty to a single charge of abusing a girl in his congregation, denies allegations that the abuse started when the girl was 10.
According to court documents, the victim told police that Davis molested her several times beginning when she was 10 and spanning eight years.
Davis, 40, admits to molesting her one time when she was 17 and pleaded guilty to a charge of second-degree sexual misconduct based on that incident. "I was never even charged with those (other) crimes," said Davis of the other incidents the victim reported.
According to the victim's statement to police, the other incidents did not take place in Washington state.
"At the time she was 10 -- it didn't happen anyway -- I was not an elder," he said. "I took a polygraph to show that I did not do that.
"There's a big difference between an older girl and a teenager."
Davis refused to give any details as to what he did or did not do, saying he expects to be sued in civil court by the victim's family.
"I'm not going to talk about what happened and when," he said. "I can't comment on exactly when it happened or how many times."
In regard to the incident Davis admitted, court records say the victim told police that Davis groped her while she was driving a car and forced her to perform a sex act on him.
Davis on Monday was sentenced to 90 days in Geiger Work Release Center and two years' probation. He also will be required to register as a sex offender.
"I never denied that I did something wrong," he said. "I'm not going to blame anyone. The truth is, I should have known better."
Davis was "disfellowshipped," or excommunicated, from the Jehovah's Witness Opportunity Kingdom Hall for six months. He is now back in the congregation, but not as an elder. "I never could be (an elder) again," he said.
Davis also denies that he confessed to repeated sexual abuse of the victim in a telephone conversation with the victim's mother as court records indicated. "I never confessed to (the victim's mother)," he said. "All I did was apologize. I was embarrassed about what I did."
The victim's family did not return a phone call seeking comment Saturday.