Champaign man convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child

Champaign man convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child

URBANA — A Champaign man faces up to 90 years in prison when he his sentenced on Nov. 19 for inappropriate sexual contact with two young Champaign girls that happened more than a year ago.

A Champaign County jury deliberated for four hours before convicting James H. Davis, 37, whose last known address was in the 1300 block of North Champaign Street, of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and indecent solicitation of a child for two separate acts that occurred in the girls' home on Bradley Avenue on July 4, 2011.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Bennett said Davis faces up to 60 years in prison for the predatory criminal sexual assault of a child and up to 30 years for the indecent solicitation of a child. The two sentences are to be served consecutively due to Davis' prior record, so he faces up to 90 years at his sentencing.

Among the prosecution witnesses at Davis' trial before Judge Tom Difanis were the two girls, who were 6 and 8 at the time, and their mother, who was an acquaintance of Davis.

The mother testified that Davis came to her home in the early morning hours of that day wanting a place to sleep. She agreed to let him in and even let him sleep on her bed next to her. She dozed off and was awakened by him asking if he could use her bathroom.

Shortly after that, her younger daughter came in her bedroom and told her that a man had touched her lip with his sex organ. The older daughter reported to her that the man had asked her to perform a sex act.

The mother got up and found Davis in her living room on the couch. After confronting him, she ordered him from her home. The woman said she was angry and wanted to hurt Davis. After having ordered him from the home, she got in her car to look for him.

It wasn't until a couple of hours later that she called police.

The girls were interviewed by police that day and, on July 5, also were interviewed by a Department of Children and Family Services employee at the Child Advocacy Center in Urbana.

Davis was charged with the offenses on July 6, 2011.

Several months later, both girls picked Davis out of a photo lineup as the man who had been in there home that day. However, when asked in court earlier this week if the man who committed the acts was present, both said no.

Defense attorney Ed Piraino seized on their lack of identification and confusion over the timeline of events in his defense of Davis. The girls had testified that the man was in their house hours earlier than their mother had testified and Piraino produced witnesses on Davis' behalf who testified he had been with them at those other times.

Bennett said the girls were merely confused about the times but were clear in their testimony about what happened to them. Their mother, he argued, identified Davis as the man in her house that morning. And he said the girls were clear when they picked him from a photo lineup during the investigation of the case by Champaign police.

Not long after beginning their deliberations late Thursday morning, the jurors asked to look at the photo lineup and to review the testimony of Davis' girlfriend. Difanis allowed both requests.

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