Worthington News

Gross sexual imposition

Former councilman Davis' trial set for March 18

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

A trial date of March 18 has been set for former Worthington City Council member Joseph C. Davis.

Davis will face a charge of gross sexual imposition in Franklin County Common Pleas Court for allegedly inappropriately touching a 17-year-old female intern at Worthington Jewelers on May 13, 2013.

Davis was co-owner of the downtown jewelry store but is no longer affiliated with the shop.

His term as council member also ended at the end of 2013, after he chose to not seek re-election in November. He had been on council since 2011, when he was appointed to complete the term of Mike Duffey, who stepped down to become a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.

Davis was arrested June 25, 2013, by Worthington police after the girl's family filed a complaint.

She alleged that while she was working in the jewelry store May 13, Davis lifted her leg and placed it on his. Twice she moved her leg away, and twice he moved it back, the complaint alleges.

On the following day, Davis again allegedly approached the girl and rubbed her leg from the knee to the genitals, according to the report.

He was charged with gross sexual imposition, which is a fourth-degree felony and carries with it a maximum penalty of 18 months in jail.

The case was turned over to the Franklin County prosecutor's office, which turned it over to a grand jury. An indictment was filed Nov. 7, 2013.

The girl since has graduated from Thomas Worthington High School. She was assigned to work at Worthington Jewelers as part of the Entrepreneurial Business Academy at Thomas Worthington.

In most cases, internships are arranged by a teacher. In this case, the teacher was on sick leave, and the internship was set up by the girl's parents.

Davis, 44, has been active in the local business community and, four years ago, was named small-businessperson of the year by the Worthington Area Chamber of Commerce.

He also served on the chamber's board of trustees and economic development committee, was past president of the Olde Worthington Business Association, is a graduate of Leadership Worthington and belongs to the Worthington A.M. Rotary.

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