Former Richland lawyer gets 89 months to life for abusing young boys, inviting man to join

Jerry James Davis, 54, was sentenced for child molestation, sexual exploitation and abusing a position of trust
Jerry Davis in court
Jerry Davis was sentenced Friday, February 7, 2020 in Benton County Superior Court to 89 months to life in prison.

RICHLAND, Wash. — A former Tri-Cities lawyer will be locked up or monitored for the rest of his life for sexually abusing two young boys for several years, a judge ruled Friday.

Benton-Franklin Superior Court Judge Bruce Spanner sentenced Jerry James Davis, 54, to life in prison with a mandatory minimum sentence of 89 months, plus a lifetime of community custody should he be released from prison.

Davis was arrested in the fall of 2018 on suspicion of repeatedly molesting the boys from January 2015 — when they were just 3 and 5 years old — to January 2018. On at least one occasion, he invited another man to his Richland apartment to join him in abusing the boys.

Davis admitted to inviting a man through a dating app to abuse the boys in their sleep. He said he would drug the boys with NyQuil and abuse them while they were passed out.

His defense pointed out that Davis accepted responsibility and insisted on pleading guilty to one count each of first-degree child molestation and sexual exploitation of a minor so that the victim would not have to be put through the pain of testifying in court.

Davis’ attorney also reminded the judge that several of Davis’ colleagues in the legal community had submitted letters of support.

The state said those supporters had no idea of the egregious nature of Davis’ conduct with the two boys, including the fact that Davis was offering up the children to strangers online.

The prosecution went on to say the boys’ current foster mom reports that Davis’ acts and the subsequent investigation have been very traumatic and incredibly difficult for them.

“You’ve just sentenced those boys, who looked to you for protection, for stability and security… you’ve sentenced them to a lifetime of distress and grief, a lifetime of relational difficulties, a lifetime of behavioral issues, a lifetime of low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, the possibility of daily reminders of the events of that night, and maybe a lifetime of anger. I hope not,” Judge Spanner said during sentencing.

An aggravated circumstance was added to the counts against Davis because he had abused a position of trust.

Davis was not living in the Tri-Cities at the time of the crimes. A few months prior, Davis had been charged with sex crimes in Thurston County.