Man who sexually abused a young girl sentenced to 20 years

Crime Watch

RIGBY — A man convicted of sexually abusing a young girl may spend up to 20 years in prison.

James Gordon Davis, 40, will spend a minimum of three years and up to 20 years in prison for felony battery with intent to commit lewd conduct with a minor and felony witness intimidation. District Judge Steven Thompson sentenced Davis on Feb. 10.

“I would like to apologize to my family and take responsibility for the wrongs that I’ve committed here,” Davis said during the sentencing hearing.

Davis pleaded guilty as part of a binding plea agreement that stipulated a maximum three year fixed sentence with the indeterminate time left up to the judge. With a binding plea agreement, the judge would have to stick to the agreement or Davis would be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

As part of the plea agreement, a felony charge of lewd conduct with a minor was dismissed by the prosecutor.

While Thompson did agree to abide by the plea agreement, he said he had reservations about it.

“I’ve got concerns about it and, quite frankly, more than a three-year minimum might have been justified in this case,” Thompson said during the sentencing hearing.

Davis and his public defender Jim Archibald argued he should be placed on probation, since Davis has already been incarcerated for the past year. But Thompson said that probation was not appropriate and went along with the recommendation of three years fixed with 17 indeterminate made by special prosecutor John Dewey.

“If you’re really taking responsibility for what you pled guilty to, Mr. Davis, I think you would recognize, even yourself, that just placing you on probation would minimize the seriousness of what you did,” Thompson said.

Davis was arrested in July 2018 after his 11-year-old victim told investigators Davis beats her and her siblings “all the time” and forced her to take showers with him where he sexually abused her. He has been incarcerated ever since.

While in jail he called the victim’s mother and told her to take the victim out of the state and to not allow her to testify. For that he was convicted of witness intimidation and was sentenced to five years with three years fixed and two years indeterminate.

The two sentences will run concurrently.

Davis was ordered to pay a total of $8,795 in fines and fees. He will also have to register as a sex offender when he is eventually released from prison.

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