PITTSBURG — A former Pittsburg police officer had his first appearance in court Tuesday, after being charged with aggravated sexual battery.

Jessie Edward Loren Davis, 22, of Carthage, Missouri appeared before Judge A.J. Wachter to be informed of his charges and the sentence it may carry if he is convicted.

Aggravated sexual battery is a level five person felony, which could result in a sentence between 31 and 136 months incarcerated if Davis is convicted. Wachter said the severity of the sentence is almost entirely dependent on Davis’ criminal history.

Davis surrendered himself to authorities at the jail in September after a warrant was issued for his arrest. It is alleged that Davis inappropriately touched a female arrestee while serving as a police officer with the Pittsburg Police Department on August 26.

According to a release from PPD, the department opened up an internal investigation on Davis, and he was immediately placed on administrative leave. According to PPD, he was terminated a few days later. PPD requested that the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office conduct an investigation into possible criminal activity involving Davis and the complaint.

According to CRSO, investigators obtained information that Davis and another member of PPD responded to a domestic disturbance in Pittsburg, where a male and female were involved in an altercation.

The female party was arrested and transported to the jail by Davis. According to investigators, the arrestee stated during the transport Davis asked her if she would show him her breasts and allow him to touch them. The arrestee said she lifted her shirt and was able to maneuver herself into a position that allowed Davis to reach through the patrol car’s partition into the back seat where he touched her breasts.

The woman implied to investigators that she did this out of fear and was afraid of what might happen if she declined the officer’s request.

Davis allegedly also told the arrestee that he would manipulate the domestic violence report he would be filing on her in exchange for the action, insinuating that he could help her get out of the charges associated with the incident.

Assistant County Attorney John Gutierrez and Davis’ attorney agreed Tuesday that a status hearing be set for November 7. After discovery and meeting with the county attorney, Davis’ attorney said the hearing may serve as a preliminary hearing for the case.

Davis is presumed innocent unless and until the allegations against him are proven beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at choener@morningsun.net or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.