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Douglas County judge opts for longer sentence for sex offender

A former Roseburg man convicted of sexually abusing a girl he knew for more than a decade was sentenced Thursday in Douglas County Circuit Court to more than 16½ years in prison.

John Richard Davis, 49, of Peoria, Arizona, had little to say before Circuit Court Judge Bill Marshall handed down the sentence.

“At this moment, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to think about the whole thing,” he said.

A jury last week found Davis guilty of two counts of first-degree rape, a Measure 11 crime with a mandatory minimum sentence of 8 years and 4 months in prison.

Deputy District Attorney Kathleen Johnson asked the court to sentence Davis to consecutive sentences, arguing the victim was repeatedly abused and has waited the last 10 years for justice.

Davis’ Eugene defense attorney, David Hill, objected and argued the jury did not make a clear finding that the counts were based on separate incidents.

Marshall said the jury had made the distinction in its verdict and granted the extended sentence.

Besides spending 16 years and 8 months in prison, Davis must register as a sex offender for life and provide a blood sample to test for sexually transmitted diseases. He was also sentenced to 20 years of post-prison supervision for each count.

Jurors, who deliberated for nearly four hours Friday, were unable to reach a verdict on another count of first-degree rape and one count of first-degree sodomy.

Johnson said Thursday the state would dismiss those charges.

Johnson said the longer sentence was important because of the length of time the girl has suffered.

“You can never make a victim whole in a case like this, and I’m satisfied that this is the best we could have done,” she said.

Davis was accused of abusing the girl between the 1990s and early 2000s, when she was a child, pre-teen and teenager.

A cousin said the victim was unable to attend the sentencing because she was sick and lives outside the area. The cousin read a statement on behalf of the victim and her family.

“It has taken over 10 years for Mr. Davis to be held accountable. Even though this chapter of (the victim’s) life is coming to a close, the impact will stay with her for the rest of her life,” it read. “We hope Mr. Davis will use his time in prison to reflect on what he’s done.”

Davis, who had been out of custody since July 7, 2006, was tried three times before being found guilty. He stood trial in February, but jurors were unable to reach a verdict then.

He first went on trial in 2008, but it was halted when a judge ruled prosecutors couldn’t use as evidence online messages and phone calls between Davis and the victim.

Roseburg police staged and eavesdropped on the conversations, despite warnings from Davis’ attorney that he wouldn’t talk to police without a lawyer present.

The Court of Appeals upheld the ruling, but the Oregon Supreme Court ruled in 2011 that suspects are only shielded from police questioning without a lawyer if they are in custody.

The defense argued during the trial the allegations against Davis were false and that the girl lashed out at him because he disciplined her for acting rebellious and sneaking out at night.

The victim’s cousin said after the sentencing she is grateful Davis will have to register as a sex offender.

“I think it was the best outcome we could have had, considering,” she said. “He will forever be held accountable for what he’s done.”

• Reporter Jessica Prokop can be reached at 541-957-4209 and jprokop@nrtoday.com.

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The News-Review Updated Jul 4, 2014 11:50AM Published Jul 16, 2014 12:24PM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.