Youth minister faces sex charges

Georgetown News-Graphic, Kentucky

(Editor's note: The following contains information and descriptions that might be offensive to some readers.)

A former youth minister serving 10 years in prison for having oral sex with a boy at a Scott County church faces more than 20 sex-related charges in Missouri.

Shawn Davies, 33, pleaded guilty in May to charges of second-degree sodomy and two counts of unlawful transaction with a minor.

Davies was originally charged with first-degree sodomy, first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of use of a minor under 16 in a sexual performance, but the charges were amended as part of a plea agreement.

From 1998 to 1999, Davies was leading a youth group at a Scott County church when he played a pornographic movie, encouraging the young boys in attendance to masturbate while he also masturbated and watched, Scott County Detective Rodger Persley said. Davies also performed oral sex on one of the boys, Persley said.

The sheriff's office began its investigation into Davies in November 2001 after one of the boys notified Deputy Jeremy Day that his youth minister had shown him pornographic movies.

With the help of another police agency, officials learned Davies was now living in Missouri, Persley said. A Scott County grand jury indicted Davies in May 2005. He was jailed in December 2005 at the Scott County Detention Center.

Due to the statute of limitations, officials could not seek charges against Davies for showing pornographic material to minors, Persley said. Instead, the unlawful transaction charges reflect that Davies “aided or assisted” a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity, the detective said.

During the investigation, Persley said the sheriff's office found three victims in the case, but officials believe more victims could exist.

Persley declined to name the Scott County church where Davies was employed, saying that doing so might identify the victims in the case. The victims and their families might also be pursuing lawsuits against the church, Persley said.

Scott County court records also conceal the name of the church where Davies worked.

Davies had no prior sex-related criminal history, Persley said.

During the course of the investigation, Persley said Detective Robert Leslie with the Greenwood Police Department in Missouri contacted him after learning that Davies would be pleading guilty to charges in Scott County.

Persley said he then learned that Davies was under investigation for having inappropriate sexual contact with young boys at a church in Missouri.

The detectives began sharing information about their cases, learning that many similarities existed. In both, the victims are all males between the ages of 13-16, and all the incidents took place at a church where Davies was employed, Persley said.

In Missouri court documents, seven victims detail incidents in which Davies would show them pornographic images on an office computer while at First Baptist Church in Greenwood, Mo., encouraging them to masturbate while he would watch and often masturbate, as well.

Some of the victims also claim that Davies touched their genitals, performed oral sex on them, gave them alcohol and choked them until they were unconscious, according to court records. One of the victims told police that Davies masturbated him while at a church lock-in, court records state.

The incidents are alleged to have taken place as far back as August 2003 and up until October 2005.

Missouri court records also detail that Davies was fired from his position after church officials learned through an investigation that pornography had been found on his computer.

Earlier this month, Missouri law enforcement officials subsequently charged Davies with 25 offenses involving crimes against children. The charges include nine counts of second-degree statutory sodomy, seven counts of furnishing pornographic material to minors, five counts of use of a child in a sexual performance, two counts of endangering the welfare of a minor, one charge of supplying liquor to a minor and one charge of sexual misconduct involving a child under the age of 14.

If convicted, Davies could be sentenced to serve up to life in prison.

Davies is being held at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange. Under his sentence for the Scott County charges, Davies is not eligible for probation.

Anyone with information about Davies is asked to contact the Scott County Sheriff's Office at 863-7855.