Jury finds man guilty of molestation, incest

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A Benton County jury found a Bolivar man guilty of child sex crimes following a trial this week. 

According to online court records, the jury found Cory Alfred Davison, 37, guilty of two counts class A felony first-degree child molestation and one count class E felony incest on Wednesday, Jan. 8, after two days of deliberation. 

1A-Davison mug.jpeg


Special prosecuting attorneys Darrell Moore and Erin Lueker with the Missouri Office of Prosecution Services represented the state, while public defender Dewayne Perry represented Davison.  

Associate Judge James Andrew Hackett presided over the case.     

According to previous coverage, Davison was accused of subjecting a child less than 12 years old to sexual contact and engaging in deviate sexual conduct with a child related by blood.

The felony complaint, filed by Polk County Prosecuting Attorney Ken Ashlock, said the offenses took place between May 1, 2017, and Jan. 11, 2018, at a residence in Bolivar where the juvenile lived with her grandmother and Davison.

The Bolivar Police Department was contacted by Polk County Children’s Division to assist in a hotline report of possible child molestation in early January 2018, per previous coverage.

According to online court records, charges were filed against Davison on March 7, 2018. An indictment by a Polk County grand jury followed later in the same month. 

In April 2018, one of Davison’s attorneys, Joseph McMillen, filed motions for change of judge and change of venue. Judge Calvin Holden was assigned to the case April 26, 2018, but Ashlock filed his own motion for change of judge shortly thereafter, per court records.

Hackett was assigned to the case in May 2018, and he granted the motion for change of venue, moving the case to Benton County, in June 2018.

According to court records, Davison’s attorneys filed a motion to disqualify Ashlock and his staff in early May 2019, and Hackett upheld the motion in a hearing June 13, 2019, preventing the Polk County prosecuting attorney’s office from working on the case. 

Later the same month, the court appointed Moore and Lueker to the case.

Ashlock said staff changes in his office played a role in the judge’s decision.  

“After I hired Joe McMillen, who had worked for the public defender office and on his case, Davison filed a motion to disqualify me on the basis that I had an actual conflict or the appearance of a conflict,” Ashlock said. 

He said Hackett found there was an appearance of conflict “due to the small size of our office even though we had not discussed the case.”

“The good news was that the case was taken over by very competent attorneys and tried to a successful conclusion,” Ashlock said. 

Davison’s sentencing is set for Friday, March 13.

He faces 10 to 30 years, or life, in prison for the class A felony convictions, according to the felony complaint. He will not be eligible for parole. 

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