Local

Marion County children’s charity volunteer arrested on sexual battery charges

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — The Marion County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 71-year-old children’s charity volunteer after it said he sexually battered a 12-year-old child.

James Andrew Davis, 71, who volunteers in Belleview as the treasurer for Florida Kids Helping Kids, was arrested in Whitfield County, Georgia on Wednesday.

>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<

WATCH: Video shows 3 suspects using pickup truck to steal ATM from Chase bank in Orlando

According to the sheriff’s office, the investigation began on May 16 when the 12-year-old victim told detectives that Davis inappropriately touched and sexually battered him numerous times over the past year.

The victim told investigators that Davis repeatedly offered to buy him toys and art supplies, as well as give him money, so that he would not disclose the abuse.

Read: Records: Mount Dora officers arrested suspected drunk drivers on lesser charges to avoid paperwork

Deputies said the victim told them during an interview that Davis told him that he had done the same thing with other victims “for a very long time”.

On May 19, the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office informed Marion County detectives that Davis was hiding at a home near Dalton, Georgia.

Read: Volusia County standoff leads to discovery of counterfeit bills

Deputies in Georgia later found Davis and arrested him on a Marion County warrant. They booked him into the Whitfield County Jail on no bond.

Detectives said that due to the nature of the crime, Davis’ position at the charity and the statements he made, they believe there may be other victims.

Detectives ask anyone who may have information on Davis or other victims to call the Marion County Sheriff’s Office at (352) 732-9111.

Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.

Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Latest Trending