Saturday, April 9, 2011
Pastor arrested for sexually assaulting a woman
I must say the people who spoke here are quite strong. May they be guided to Islam.
Owen Deane Davis was behind bars Wednesday night when he was arrested by the Highland Village police on a Young County district court warrant.
Davis, the former vicar at Faith Lutheran Church, was arrested on a warrant alleging he sexually assaulted a woman at his Graham home on Spivey Hill.
Davis posted a $50,000 bond Thursday and was released from custody.
The Rev. Ron Halamka, interim pastor at Faith Lutheran, said Davis left the church in January when he took a leave of absence after being interviewed by the Texas Ranger as part of the investigation into the case.
“He felt it was best he sever his relationship with the church until he settled this,” Halamka said. “He has not had any relationship with us, any function with us, since the second Wednesday in January after he was interrogated by the Texas Ranger.”
Halamka said for the last several months he has held out hope that Davis would be able to return. That appears unlikely now, he said.
“The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has a no-tolerance policy,” Halamka said. “Anyone who is aspiring to leadership that is involved in sexual misconduct is immediately removed.”
Halamka said while Davis was leading Faith Lutheran, he was not a full pastor. As vicar, he stood in as pastor but had not finished schooling and was not ordained.
While Halamka said he and the church are moving on, he admitted to be stunned to learn about the allegations against Davis.
“This seems inconceivable,” he said. “There was absolutely no hint whatsoever. He and his wife have been married many years and really loved each other. They had wonderful children and grandchildren. He seemed like a really fine man of God.”
Despite the issues with Davis, the congregation at Faith Lutheran will continue to serve God together. Halamka, a longtime Lutheran pastor who retired in Graham, volunteered to lead when the church needed him.
“For the sake of the church, so there’s no disruption and there’s spiritual continuity, I will serve them until there’s another man of God,” Halamka said.
While Halamka is struggling to believe the man he knew could be involved in sexual assault, he said he hopes the full truth comes out.
“Whatever it is he’s done is absolutely inconceivable to us,” Halamka said. “However, if law enforcement has evidence, we don’t want to get in the way of that.”
Sheriff’s Office Investigator Capt. Tim Bay said the investigation into Davis, 63, began in September 2010 when the alleged victim told another preacher that she had been assaulted. The preacher contacted Bay, who began looking into the allegations.
During the course of the investigation, search warrants were served on Davis’ home on Spivey Hill in Graham, at Faith Lutheran Church, a hunting property in Jack County and at the home Davis owns in Highland Village.
Law enforcement officials seized computers, cameras capable of making videos and more during the searches. The computers and the cameras have been sent to a lab to determine what is on their hard drives.
Bay said at least two videos were found on the computers, including one showing Davis engaged in a sex act with the alleged victim.
Bay said the alleged sexual assault was not a forcible attack but rather force by intimidation. Bay said the woman was in the United States illegally when she was hired to work for Davis. He asked her to sign a confidentiality agreement that he later said was a contract requiring her to do anything — even sex.
After completing his investigation, Bay presented the case to District Attorney Brenda Gray.
Gray presented the case to a grand jury last week and received an indictment on one count of aggravated sexual assault. District Judge Stephen Crawford signed an arrest warrant Tuesday.