Girl claims older relative molested her for three years

Thursday, August 3, 2006

A 13-year-old girl testified in court Wednesday that an older relative inappropriately touched her over a three-year period.

Charles P. Davis, 68, of Grassy, Mo., was charged with felony statutory sodomy and child molestation in connection with some of the alleged incidents.

He is accused of molesting his now-13-year-old relative at his trailer in Twin Bridges Campground in Bollinger County during the summer of 2005.

His alleged victim testified in court during a preliminary hearing that Davis would make her take off her clothing to check and see that she was "growing properly."

"He said that I was growing very fine," the girl testified.

During these checks, which took place between May and August of last year, Davis would touch her private areas, the girl said. At least one incident lasted between 10 and 15 minutes, she added.

Davis warned the girl not to tell anyone about what occurred because she would get in trouble, the girl said. She told authorities what happened only after her father began asking about it this spring, she said.

Shortly before she told her father of the incidents, the girl said Davis asked her to touch him, and he attempted to take off his pants.

The girl said the molestation originally began in 2003 when she was 10 years old at the relative's former home in Bunker, Mo. The girl claimed to have been inappropriately touched by the defendant during the summers of 2003 and 2004.

No charges had been filed in connection with those allegations in Reynolds County.

"It shows a pattern of behavior to the girl that's been going on for a while," Bollinger County Prosecuting Attorney Stephen Gray said following the hearing.

Davis was also charged with felony sexual misconduct involving a child, but that count was dropped due to a discrepancy of dates given by the girl's testimony and those in the charging document.

Gray said that charge could be refiled later.

Associate Circuit Judge Scott Thomsen found probable cause in the case and bound Davis over to Circuit Court, where he was scheduled to appear before Judge William Syler on Aug. 11.

kmorrison@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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