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Three accused of sexual abuse of a child in court

From The Times Tribune -

KNOX COUNTY -- Motions were made in Knox Circuit Court during a pretrial conference for an Artemus trio facing multiple sexual-related charges involving multiple children, but action was not taken during the conference.

Lora Ethel Davis, 29; Joseph Robert Davis, 30; and James M. Davis, 23, appeared together Friday, where Joseph Davis' attorney Neil Borders asked for the case to be continued due to issues he has been having with being able to meet or talk with his client, trying to find a child psychologist who would be appropriate for the case and the timing of the original trial date that was scheduled to fall during the Daniel Boone Festival which, as Borders said, could create distractions due to noise for all parties involved.

James Davis' attorney Michael Brophy joined the motion to continue.

Borders also asked for the cases to be severed so that each defendant would have separate trials. Borders explained to Judge Greg Lay that he thought this case would result in a lot of pointing fingers.

Commonwealth's Attorney Terry Beckner objected to the motion of severing the cases.

Judge Lay told Beckner to give a formal written response to the request for severing the cases within 14 days.

Judge Lay did not make a decision on the motions during the pretrial conference as Lora Davis' attorney Cotha Hudson was not present due to a sickness on Friday. Lay instead decided to set another pretrial conference date for 10 a.m. September 27 and keep the original trial date of October 8.

During that pretrial conference, the motions will be decided upon.

On Sept.16, 2018, Lora Davis contacted the Knox County Dispatch Center asking to speak with an officer, allegedly stating she needed to make a complaint against herself. She then allegedly told police that she had sodomized her children three to four years ago. Her arrest citation states that she decided to make her admission because "she needed to go to jail so her kids could have justice."

Following an investigation, she was arrested and later indicted in November 2018 on three counts of first-degree sodomy.

Through further investigation, Joseph and James Davis were also found to be involved in the alleged incidents. The two men were indicted in June. Lora Davis was also named along with the two men as part of a superseding indictment, which added more charges.

They are charged with three counts of first-degree sodomy - victim under 12 years of age, three counts of first-degree sexual abuse - victim under 12 years of age and three counts of first-degree criminal abuse. Joseph Davis is also additionally charged with first-degree rape - victim under 12 years of age.

According to that indictment, at least three children were involved in the alleged incidents, with their ages at the time being roughly 6, 5 and 4.

Joseph Davis and James Davis currently remain jailed in the Knox County Detention Center. Lora Davis is being held at the Leslie County Detention Center.

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