Champaign man gets 50 years for sexually assaulting child

URBANA — A Champaign man who molested one girl and tried to molest another has been sentenced to 50 years in prison.

Last month, a Champaign County jury convicted James H. Davis, 37, whose last known address was in the 1300 block of North Champaign Street, of one count of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child for activity with a 6-year-old girl and one count of indecent solicitation of a child for an act with her 8-year-old sister.

The contacts happened on July 6, 2011, at the girls’ home on Bradley Avenue. Davis went there in the early morning, asking the girls’ mother if he could sleep there after a night of drinking. The woman, who knew Davis, allowed him in.

He got up to use the bathroom, and shortly after the younger girl told her mother that Davis touched her lip sexually. The older daughter reported he had asked her to perform a sex act.

Because they were separate acts, Davis has to serve his sentences for each crime one after the other. Difanis sentenced him to 35 years on the predatory criminal sexual assault and 15 years on the indecent solicitation.

Assistant State’s Attorney Scott Bennett asked Judge Tom Difanis to consider 65 years in prison for Davis, a father of six children ranging in age from 2 to 16. Bennett said Davis pays no support for five of the children and is in arrears more than $16,000 on the one he is court-ordered to support.

“There are those who give back in this world and those who take,” said Bennett, calling Davis a taker.

He said Davis had at least 28 criminal and traffic convictions in his life and has been to prison five times, all facts that show he has little rehabilitative potential. Court records show his felonies include convictions for DUI, drugs, weapons and domestic battery.

Defense attorney Ed Piraino merely asked for a lower sentence, saying he was hard-pressed to argue for his client, who continues to maintain his innocence.

Asked by Difanis if he had anything to say, Davis said: “God bless everybody.”

Under truth-in-sentencing legislation, Davis will have to serve just over 37 years of his sentence. He was given credit for a year and four months already served in jail.

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