PITTSBURG — The former Pittsburg police officer accused of sexually assaulting an arrestee entered a plea in Crawford County District Court in Pittsburg Tuesday.
Jesse Edward Lorenzo Davis, 22, of Carthage, Missouri, entered a plea of no contest to one count of aggravated battery in front of Judge Kurtis Loy Tuesday afternoon and was subsequently found guilty.
As part of the plea agreement, Davis will likely be sentenced to 24 months probation and will not be required to register as a sex offender. In return for the no contest plea, charges of aggravated sexual battery and official misconduct were dropped.
Assistant Crawford County Attorney John Gutierrez said he was satisfied with the agreement.
“I think it’s a reasonable plea,” Gutierrez said. “It’s no different than what we’d do for anyone else.
“Obviously he’ll no longer be a law enforcement officer.”
The charges stem from an August 2017 incident in which 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.
After an investigation by the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Davis was fired.
Last month, Corey M. Adams, of the Robinson Law Firm in Wichita, filed a civil rights lawsuit accusing the City of Pittsburg of failing to protect one of its citizens from a sexual assault by a police officer. The lawsuit alleges that while transporting a female after an arrest, a provisionally certified Pittsburg Police Officer forced the woman to engage in unwanted sexual behaviors, traumatizing her and causing her to fear for her safety.
The lawsuit brings claims against Davis, his supervisors, and the City of Pittsburg. The city is accused of tolerating an atmosphere of sexual misconduct and undue familiarity within the police department that goes beyond this one incident. The lawsuit alleges the city failed to put necessary procedures in place to protect citizens from this kind of assault.
There are 12 separate accusations in the lawsuit, claiming violations of the 14th and 4th Amendments to the Constitution, negligence, battery, assault and both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
The lawsuit names the City of Pittsburg, PPD Chief Melinda Hulvey, Davis and “John and Jane Does acting in their individual and official capacities. The alleged victim is asking for $75,000 or more in damages on each count, plus prejudgment interest.
Davis remains free on bond, pending sentencing set for 10:30 a.m. April 12.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.