Elkhart man found guilty of molesting a relative

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An Elkhart man has been found guilty of child molestation.

It was six years ago when prosecutors say Robert T. Davis, 46, performed deviate sexual conduct upon a 10-year-old relative.

The child told the jury that she was sleeping at her grandmother’s home when she awoke to Davis touching her and that Davis told her not to tell.

It was nearly four years later, the child admitted Davis touched her in an inappropriate manner.

The Elkhart County Prosecutor’s Office released the following information about the case:

An Elkhart County Jury found Robert T. Davis, age 46, guilty of Child Molesting, a Class A Felony, on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, after a two-day trial. Deputy Prosecuting Attorneys Jennifer Munro and Laura Bird presented evidence demonstrating that Davis, who was living with his father and stepmother at the time, performed deviate sexual conduct upon a ten (10) year old female relative who was visiting the home. The child, who is now sixteen (16) years old, told a Goshen jury that she was sleeping at her grandmother’s home when she awoke to Davis touching her in a manner she detailed for the jury. Davis had instructed her not to “tell”; however, the child testified she was scared, ran to the bathroom, and cried. The child’s mother attempted to console her and find out why she was upset, but the child told her mother that she had merely had a nightmare.

Nearly four years later, the child disclosed that Robert T. Davis had touched her inappropriately during that 2012 visit. An investigation was conducted and charges were filed against Davis in 2017. This week, a jury heard testimony from the child, her mother, her grandmother, the forensic interviewer who talked with the child after the initial disclosure, and from retired Detective Peggy Snider, who conducted the original investigation. The child’s mother and grandmother were able to corroborate many of the child’s statements, even though they were not made aware of the crime until years after it occurred. The grandmother testified that she thought it was very strange, but she had found the child’s blue nightgown in a trash can after the visit in 2012. She also indicated the child’s behavior changed dramatically after the visit. The child no longer wanted to stay the night at her grandmother’s home, and the child became very withdrawn. The child’s mother also testified in detail regarding changes in the child’s disposition and behavior after the visit in June 2012.

The Defense argued that the delayed disclosure by the child was suspicious and that the testimony of the child and of her mother and grandmother were inconsistent. The jury rejected these arguments and found Robert T. Davis guilty of Child Molesting, a Class A Felony.

The Honorable Teresa Cataldo entered judgment of conviction on the jury’s verdict and revoked Robert T. Davis’ ability to post bond. Robert T. Davis will remain in custody at the Elkhart County Correctional Complex pending his sentencing hearing on 2/14/19 at 9:00 a.m. The law against Child Molesting, as a Class A felony, criminalizes behavior where an adult at least twenty-one (21) years of age performs sexual intercourse or deviate sexual conduct with a child under fourteen (14) years of age. The penalty range for a Class A Felony is twenty (20) to fifty (50) years of incarceration.

Davis faces up to 50 years in prison when he’s sentenced next month.

 

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