Police in Idaho Falls say the mother of a 13-year-old girl “encouraged and condoned” a relationship between her daughter and a 29-year-old man who is now under arrest for sexually abusing the child.
Bill Ernest Davenport was arrested and charged with felony lewd conduct with a minor after detectives discovered photos and a video on his phone showing him molesting the teenage girl, East Idaho News reported Sunday.
Law enforcement had been made aware of the alleged abuse by Child Protective Services in November and began to investigate the allegations. During the investigation, both the girl and Davenport initially denied that any abuse had occurred. But, according to court documents, Davenport would later acknowledge he was in a “boyfriend” and “girlfriend” relationship with the child.
When investigators searched Davenport’s cellphone, they allegedly found several photos of him touching the child in a sexual manner and a video showing him molesting her.
“My interviews revealed that it was common knowledge among Bill, [the victim], and [the mother’s] social circle that Bill and [the victim] were in a sexual relationship and [the mother] encouraged and condoned the relationship,” the detective wrote in a probable cause affidavit.
After detectives discovered that Davenport and the girl shared a bedroom, they ordered DNA samples taken from the girl as well as from several items in the room for examination and testing at the Idaho State Laboratory.
Davenport was arrested last week and made his first court appearance on Thursday, where a judge set his bail at $15,000. If convicted, Davenport could serve up to a life sentence in prison. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 24.
Detectives have reportedly recommended that the victim’s mother be charged with injury to a child, but court records indicate that the mother has not yet been charged for her alleged involvement. Officials noted that the incident is still under investigation.
Well-known Christian apologist, Ravi Zacharias, who died last spring, is guilty of “sexting, unwanted touching, spiritual abuse, and rape” of multiple women over the course of several years, the global evangelical organization he founded announced in an open letter this week.
“It is with shattered hearts that we issue this statement,” the organization, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries, wrote following the completion of an investigation ordered by the organization last fall after a report published by Christianity Today detailed allegations that Zacharias sexually harassed multiple massage therapists employed at two Atlanta-area day spas co-owned by the evangelist.
After initially denying the allegations against Zacharias, claiming that they “do not in any way comport with the man we knew for decades,” RZIM acknowledged this week that credible evidence uncovered during the investigation had changed its perspective.
“We believe not only the women who made their allegations public but also additional women who had not previously made public allegations against Ravi but whose identities and stories were uncovered during the investigation,” RZIM’s statement said. “We are devastated by what the investigation has shown and are filled with sorrow for the women who were hurt by this terrible abuse.”
The independent law firm that conducted the probe, Miller & Martin PLLC, published its findings on Tuesday, outlining a troubling pattern of abuse. In the report, more than a dozen massage therapists, who were typically much younger than him, spoke out about frequent inappropriate behavior and alleged that Zacharias often tried “for more than a massage.”
“Eight therapists reported that Mr. Zacharias would start the massage either completely nude or would remove the sheets during the massage. Six therapists reported that he always or almost always had an erection during the massage. Four therapists reported that he would either touch his genitals or ask them to touch his genitals. And five therapists reported that he touched or rubbed them inappropriately,” the report stated.
One massage therapist “reported details of many encounters over a period of years that she described as rape,” the report stated. She noted that while her relationship with Zacharias started out as a normal therapist-client relationship it evolved over time until she came to think of him as a “father figure.” He came to elicit personal information from her and eventually required sex.
According to the report, “She said he warned her not ever to speak out against him or she would be responsible for the ‘millions of souls’ whose salvation would be lost if his reputation was damaged.”
Several of the therapists alleged that Zacharias would offer ministry funds to provide financial support only to pressure them later to perform sexual favors.
The investigation also reportedly uncovered that Zacharias would often inappropriately engage in text and email relationships with women. A probe of his electronic devices found that he had more than 200 massage therapist contacts in his cellphones and more than 200 selfies from younger women, some of them nudes.
In 2017, a woman named Lori Anne Thompson came forward alleging that after she confided in the evangelist about her history of abuse, the evangelist began soliciting sexually explicit text messages from her. At the time, Zacharias denied the allegations, claiming that Thompson was attempting to extort him and RZIM failed to commission an independent investigation into the matter. But with the new revelations, RZIM has now restated its opinion on the incident.
“The investigation’s conclusions have caused us to think very differently about the allegations Mrs. Lori Anne Thompson made against Ravi in 2017. We were wrong. Our trust in Ravi’s denial of moral wrongdoing and in his deceptive explanations of emails and other records that became public was severely misplaced, and our failures in 2017, including our failure to commission an independent investigation at that time, allowed tremendous pain to continue to be caused in the Thompsons’ lives,” RZIM stated. “We believe Lori Anne Thompson has told the truth about the nature of her relationship with Ravi Zacharias.”
Before his death from cancer at age 74 last May, Zacharias was a renowned evangelist and author who traveled the world encouraging Christians to think critically and challenging skeptics to embrace Christianity. He was known for his brilliant mind and captivating manner of speech. His specialization was in apologetics, or the passioned defense of the faith, and his ministry’s motto is: “Helping the thinker believe. Helping the believer think.”
The report is undoubtedly devastating to Zacharias’ reputation as a winsome and upstanding evangelical leader and, perhaps even more sadly, will be devastating to the many followers he attracted throughout his decades of global ministry.
In a statement posted to RZIM’s website on Thursday, the organization said, “The circumstances and events relating to our founder, Ravi Zacharias, have been a shock, a horror, and a source of deep grief to us all and to the public who follow this ministry. As painful as these revelations have been, we must recognize the Lord’s hand in bringing these deep-seated sins to light. As a ministry committed to the public proclamation and defense of the gospel, it is incumbent upon us to discover the facts and follow them wherever they lead, with a view to pursuing repentance, restitution, and restoration that matches the rigor and transparency of the investigation itself.
“It is in light of these principles that we believe it is important to take these steps publicly. We pray for God’s grace and mercy for all, and for restoration that brings peace, hope, forgiveness, and change where most needed,” the statement continued.
Last year, a memorial service was held to honor Zacharias’ life, during which many well known evangelical guest speakers took the stage to remember him, including former Vice President Mike Pence, Pastor Louie Giglio, and former NFL player Tim Tebow.
Memorial: Ravi Zacharias (1946-2020) with VP Mike Pence
Model and entertainer Courtney Stodden says that her ex-husband, actor Doug Hutchison, courted other teenagers before — and after — their nearly 10-year marriage.
The two were legally married in 2011 when Stodden was 16 years old, with her parents’ permission, and Hutchison was 51, and divorced in 2020. Stodden was Hutchison’s third wife.
A spokesperson for Hutchison — who is well-known for his roles in “The X-Files,” “The Green Mile,” and “Lost” — said that Stodden’s accusations are “categorically false” and verge on “litigious.”
What did she say?
Stodden, now 26, shared a post about the situation on her Instagram page on Tuesday. She said that Hutchison, who is now 60 years old, made her think that she and their marriage were “unique” and “special.”
Stodden also claimed that Hutchison courted teenagers before courting her, and also after their marriage ended.
Her post said, “As a child, I literally went around the world standing up for my ex marriage. Actor Doug Hutchison (best known for playing Percy on #TheGreenMile) married me when I was 16. He was 50. I now know that I was being abused. I was made to think I was special, and this was a unique and special circumstance. Now I know the truth. I wasn’t the first child he courted. I wasn’t ‘special’ like he made me and the public believe.
“It wasn’t in fact ‘unique’ for him,” she alleged. “After the divorce, I found out that I wasn’t the first teen. And the kicker is, I wasn’t the last. Praying for this planet and all of the children in it! Especially the ones that men like him are grooming to feel important so they can gain control. My mission is to make it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to get married. But for now, I’ll pray[.]”
A fiery statement in response
TheBlaze spoke to a representative for the actor, who dismissed Stodden’s claims as “categorically false, libelous, retaliatory, and verging on litigious.”
“Lest she forget, Ms. Stodden was three months shy of 17 when her parents CONSENTED to her marriage to Mr. Hutchison in Las Vegas, NV,” the spokesperson said. “This was a consensual and legal union. Ms. Stodden was never ‘groomed’ nor ‘abused’ and 21 years of age (an adult) when she promoted her 5-year wedding anniversary under the Hollywood Sign. No one held a gun to Ms. Stodden’s head.”
The rep added, “If Ms. Stodden truly believes that waiting one year until she was 18 to become married and her ‘mission’ is to fight for legislation to make it illegal for anyone to marry under the age of 18, that’s her prerogative. She may want to start in Austria, Bulgaria, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Italy, and Portugal where apparently the age of consent — married or not — is as low as 14.”
Hutchison’s spokesperson told TheBlaze that Stodden’s mission, however, “appears less about protecting whom she refers to as ‘victims’ (including herself) and more about a vindictive character assassination of my client as well as a desperate attempt to remain ‘relevant’ in the media.”
The spokesperson concluded, “Though Ms. Stodden is welcome to her opinions and to use her social media platforms openly, I would encourage her to choose her words carefully as public misrepresentation and defamation of character are against the law.”
President Donald Trump took a question about the sexual assault allegations against Joe Biden on Thursday and social media did not let the double standard go unnoticed.
While Biden has not been forced to face the allegations in 19 interviews since the accusations surfaced, the president replied to the question at the daily coronavirus task force media briefing.
“Follow up regarding Joe Biden,” asked Kyra Phillips of ABC News. “Your campaign and your surrogates going after him very hard with regard to these allegations from Tara Reade. What do you say to Joe Biden?”
“I don’t think so, I don’t think they’re going after him very hard with regard to Tara Reade,” responded the president.
“What do you say to Joe Biden?” she replied.
“I don’t know anything about it, I don’t know exactly, I think he should respond. You know,” Trump answered.
“So. Could be false accusations,” he continued. “I know all about false accusations I’ve been falsely charged numerous times, and there is such a thing.”
“Falsely accused?” she asked.
“If you look at Brett Kavanaugh, there’s an outstanding man. He was falsely charged,” said Trump. “What happened to him was an absolute disgrace to our country.”
A media double standard
Critics of the media and allies of the president noted the double standard of having the president questioned about the accusations before any media figure asked Joe Biden about the allegations leveled against him.
Former Trump admin member Sean Spicer responded, “to be clear, the media has now officially asked Trump more questions about Biden than they’ve asked Biden about Biden.”
“Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have now both been asked about whether Tara Reade was sexually assaulted in 1993 before Joe Biden,” said Joe Simonson of the Washington Examiner.
“And with that question from @ABC’s @KyraPhillips, Trump has been asked about Tara Reade more times than Joe Biden,” remarked Curtis Houck of Newsbusters.
Joe Biden reportedly will finally answer questions about the Reade accusations on “Morning Joe” on Friday morning.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on Monday morning.
Biden, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, stands accused of sexual assault from one of his former staffers in an incident that reportedly took place in 1993. Biden’s campaign has denied the allegations.
What are the details?
In a video shared to her social media channels, Pelosi said, “I’m proud to endorse Joe Biden for president of the United States because he will be an extraordinary president. He knows how to get the job done.”
“Joe Biden brings values and integrity to work every day, because he never forgets his roots,” she said of the Scranton, Pennsylvania, native. “Now more than ever we need a forward-looking, battle-tested leader who will fight for the people.”
She captioned the video on Twitter, which has been viewed at least 202,000 times at the time of this writing, “@JoeBiden has fought for our health care, for our families & for our children’s future. To his work, Joe brings values & integrity. He is a voice of reason & resilience who will fight #ForThePeople. Today, I am proud to endorse him for President of the United States.”
Pelosi made no mention whatsoever about the allegations in her announcement, and previously insisted that she was “satisfied” with the Biden campaign’s denial.
“Yes, I am. I am very much involved in this issue. I always want to give the opportunity that women deserve to be heard. I am satisfied with his answer, yes,” Pelosi said earlier in April.
In March, former Senate staffer Tara Reade accused Biden of sexual assault, noting that the alleged incident took place in 1993. She filed a criminal complaint against Biden earlier in April.
In her complaint, Reade accused Biden of penetrating her without consent during the alleged incident.
The police report did not name Biden, and the Biden campaign vehemently denied all allegations.
Reade alleged that in the 1993 incident, a senior Biden staffer asked her to deliver a gym bag to the then-senator.
“[Biden] greeted me, he remembered my name, and then we were alone,” she said. “It was the strangest thing. There was no, like, exchange really. He just had me up against the wall.”
“His hands were on me and underneath my clothes, and he went down my skirt and then up inside it, and he penetrated me with his fingers and he was kissing me at the same time, and he was saying some things to me,” she added.
When Reade pulled away, she said Biden tried to coax her into reciprocating.
“He said, ‘Come on, man, I heard you liked me,'” Reade recalled.
Reade said she refused, but Biden reportedly became irritated and said, “You’re nothing to me.”
In March, Kate Bedingfield — who is Biden’s deputy campaign manager and communications director — said, “Women have a right to tell their story, and reporters have an obligation to rigorously vet those claims. We encourage them to do so, because these accusations are false.”