Charges Revived Against Cleveland Pastor

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Charges have been revived against a Cleveland, Tenn., pastor after they earlier were dismissed in General Sessions Court.

A Hamilton County Grand Jury has indicted Rev. Hank Davis on a charge of sexual battery.

His trial date in Criminal Court has been set in March.

A grand jury has indicted Henry Keith "Hank" Davis, who's the pastor of the Church of the Harvest, for sexual battery.

In July, attorney Jim Logan said 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.

It had been alleged that the minister touched the girl's breast area and bit her on the leg.

Attorney Logan said Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Moore of Ooltewah were in the room when the alleged incident took place and were 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.

Rev. Davis also faced a civil lawsuit in Bradley County brought by the girl.

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.'"


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