Cleveland Minister Hank Davis Gets Suspended Sentence

Thursday, March 21, 2002

Cleveland minister Henry Keith "Hank" Davis has entered a guilty plea on charges brought by a young female member of his congregation.

He plead guilty to simple assault in the appearance before Judge Rebecca Stern. Davis had been charged with sexual battery.

The pastor of the Church of the Harvest was given a suspended sentence of 11 months and 29 days. The minister was ordered not to have contact with girls under the age of 18.

Recently a young woman who is suing Rev. Davis for $1.5 million testified he had bitten her on the buttocks and thigh.

She was one of four witnesses in Hamilton County Criminal Court who were questioned about actions of Rev. Davis with them.

The other three girls indicated they were reluctant witnesses for the state and said they did not feel any of the contact by the minister was sexual in nature.

Judge Stern had ruled that the witnesses could not appear at a trial of Rev. Davis - except that one witness could tell what she knew about the case he is charged on.

The case had been dropped, then revived after the alleged victim changed her account of what happened. She is also suing the minister.

The alleged victim testified at an earlier hearing before Judge Stern that the incident happened after the minister found she had cigarettes with her and he chided her and began tusseling with her at a house where she was cleaning and doing laundry in Ooltewah. It was alleged that the minister touched the girl's breast area and bit her on the leg during the incident at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Moore.

Last July, prosecutors looked at the case and decided not to proceed after the 18-year-old girl wrote a letter to the court. The letter said, "All the complaints that I have made against Hank Davis are not true. Hank has never mistreated me nor touched me incorrectly."

Prosecutors said the girl later went back to her original account, saying she had been pressured into writing the letter. That prompted the district attorney's office to take the case to the Grand Jury.

Attorney Jim Logan said Mr. and Mrs. Moore were in the room when the alleged incident took place and are prepared to testify for the defense.

He said Rev. Davis and Mr. Moore had just returned from fishing, and the girl was there cleaning house for the Moores. He said the girl had grown up in the Davis church, where the Moores also attend.

The incident happened back on Feb. 5 when the Bradley County girl went to clean the Moore house on Bell Mill Road in Hamilton County.

The warrant said the pastor went to the home where the girl was cleaning house and doing laundry. It says he arrived about 1 p.m.

It was claimed that the girl was folding clothes by the couch in the living room when he "began to tickle her and took her to the floor by the arms.

"Victim says he climbed on top of her and put his knee on her chest area. Defendant began poking her breast area with his fingers and touching her breasts on top of the clothing.

"Defendant then rolled victim over on her right side, while tickling her on her inner thigh under her panty line.

"Defendant then bit her with his teeth on her right upper leg area, near her buttocks, leaving a bruise on the victim.

"He took his fist and started punching her on the leg area.

"The victim left the residence shortly after the incident took place, and she went back to Bradley County."

Authorities said the girl recorded a telephone conversation with the minister and the defendant "admitted biting her with his teeth, stating 'he had a big mouth.'"

Former Georgia Governor And Senator Zell Miller Dies

Former Georgia governor and U.S. senator Zell Miller passed away at the age of 86 on Friday. He had been battling Parkinson's Disease.  “Bonnie and I join all Georgians in mourning the loss of former Governor and U.S. Senator Zell Miller," said U.S. Senator David Perdue. "Zell Miller touched the lives of many as a teacher, Marine, public servant, and friend. "Throughout ... (click for more)

Hamilton County Clerk's Office Honors Donors With Donate Life Flag

Hamilton County Clerk Bill Knowles announced his office will raise the Donate Life Flag during the month of April.  Blue and green flags will be flying outside courthouses and county office buildings around Tennessee in recognition of National Donate Life Month.  This is an effort by county clerks to bring attention to the importance of organ and tissue donation.  ... (click for more)

Tax All County Property Owners Once For School Safety

Our School Board, Sheriff Hammond, school administrators and the community are thoughtfully considering how to maintain safety in classrooms. Currently, discussions indicate more funding will be needed to ensure school safety. If schools are not safe and more money will change that, by all means let’s move to fix the problem.   There are many caring and knowledgeable ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘In God We Trust …And Protecting Our School Children

On a day that the Tennessee Legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that would prominently display the words “In God We Trust” in every school building in the state, the Hamilton County School Board gave my boy Bad Little Johnny cause to get a magic market and scribble underneath, “but ‘Everybody Else Is Gonna’ Need A Pistol!’” Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Hammond, who was ... (click for more)

Central Nips Signal Mountain With Late Rally, 4-3

Since dropping down to Class AA after the 2009 softball season, the Central Lady Pounders have owned District 6-2A competition. The Lady Pounders have rolled out dominate pitching and clutch hitting in a way that has been anything but fair to the opposition.   The dawning of the new season along with a new coach, however, was supposed to signal an end to the tight ... (click for more)

Currie To Get $2.5 Million In UT Separation Agreement

The University of Tennessee announced it has completed an amicable resolution parting ways with former Tennessee Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics John Currie. The University has agreed to pay John Currie $2.5 million payable as follows: Currie will be paid $2,220,454.60 no later than April 1, Currie has already been paid his salary for December 2017 through February ... (click for more)