RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - Eric Sean Davis, 43 of Pineville, has been found not guilty by a Rapides Parish jury of indecent behavior with a juvenile and sexual battery.
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Davis was arrested in 2015 by the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office on the charges which were alleged to have been committed against a toddler girl in Tioga at some point in April 2014.
According to testimony, the child's parents were going through a custody battle and Davis was in a relationship with the child's mother. The child had allegedly told her paternal grandmother that Davis had touched her, but a doctor who examined her after police became involved found no physical evidence of sexual abuse, but did say that doesn't mean it didn't happen.
Davis' attorney, Michael Brewer, argued that Davis wasn't living with his girlfriend at the time the crimes were alleged and argued that video evidence of an interview with the toddler and investigators proved that he was innocent. In that interview, the toddler told investigators nine times that she wasn't touched, before changing her story to say she was.
"Ten times (minor name redacted) was asked," said Brewer during closing arguments. "Nine times she strongly denied it, 'No. Nope."
But, prosecutor Cheryl Carter told the jury to use "common sense," saying, "She was three. And, she didn't give any other name. At the time, mama only had one boyfriend."
Davis testified himself in his trial. He said he didn't know why the child would make the accusation.
Brewer spoke with News Channel 5 after the acquittal came in. Deliberations took less than an hour.
"I'm very pleased with the decision of the jury," he said. "We thought we had a good jury. Mr. Davis and I have said from the beginning we felt like this was a case of manipulation, possibly for a custody situation. He has maintained his innocence from the beginning. We felt like we had a good case and picked a good jury."
Still, it's not the end of the legal road for Davis. Brewer tells News Channel 5 that his client is facing a parole hold on another charge.
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