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Former Baptist Youth Minister Convicted in Missouri

News-Graphifc, Georgetown, KY
January 21, 2007

Shawn Davies, a former Scott County youth minister already serving time for child sex-abuse crimes in Georgetown, was sentenced to 20 years for similar crimes in Missouri.

"This man is a predator," said Detective Robert Leslie of the Greenwood, Mo., police department, in an interview with the Associated Baptist Press. "He is going to be a cancer to society unless he is locked up."

The ruling on Davies, 33, was handed down Jan. 12, in Greenwood. As part of a plea-bargain deal, he will serve the 20 years as concurrent sentences for both his Missouri and Kentucky crimes.

From 1998 to 1999, Davies served as the leader of a Scott County church's youth group. During that time, he played a pornographic movie and encouraged the young boys in attendance to masturbate while he also masturbated and watched.

An investigation into Davies' actions began in 2001, and he was indicted in May 2005. He pleaded guilty and, in December of that year, Davies was jailed at the Scott County Detention Center.

At the same time as the investigation was going on here, Leslie was conducting his own investigation in Greenwood, and contacted Scott County Detective Rodger Persley. The two detectives shared information from their respective investigations.

According to Missouri court documents, Davies engaged in similar activity in Missouri between August 2003 and October 2005. He was fired from his position at Greenwood's First Baptist Church after church officials discovered pornography on his computer.

In June of last year, Missouri officials charged Davies with 25 offenses involving crimes against children. The charges included 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.

"It always hits the papers when a female teacher has sex with 14- or 13-year old boys, but when a pastor sexually abuses ... young boys, it's kept quiet," Leslie said. "If the first victim had come forward, it's possible that we wouldn't have these other victims today.

Leslie said that at least 13 victims have come forward with allegations, including children in Missouri, Kentucky and Michigan.

"I'm sure there are still other victims of Shawn's out there," Leslie said.

At Davies' sentencing, none of the victims were present, though Leslie said Davies apologized to some of the victims' parents, who were in the courtroom.

Davies had been hired to lead music at the 165-year-old Greenwood church in 2003, by senior pastor Mike Roy, who had attended Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville with Davies as far back as 1998.

Detective Leslie said he has reason to believe Roy may have been privy to some of Davies' actions prior to Davies' firing; Roy has declined to speak with authorities.

According to court record, some of the victims said Davies touched their genitals, performed oral sex on them, gave them alcohol and choked them until they were unconscious.

In every instance, victims were male and between the ages of 13 and 16, and every incident took place at a church where Davies was employed.

Though the Greenwood church was identified in court documents, police declined to name the church in Scott County where Davies was employed, saying that doing so might identify some of the underage victims.


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests