12/22/2014

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Ex-teacher pleads not guilty to child molestation

Ex-teacher pleads not guilty to child molestation
Lisa Davis
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OTHELLO, Wash. - A woman accused of inappropriately touching a fifth-grade boy when she taught at an Othello elementary school pleaded not guilty Monday to a charge of child molestation.

The sex scandal is the latest in a string of similar cases in the Tri-Cities area.

What a difference one year can make. Last fall, Lisa Davis was all smiles as she was named teacher of the month by a Spokane news station. A year later, it's a far different story, as Davis is facing charges of first degree child molestation.

Inside a packed courtroom, Davis pleaded not guilty to molesting a 10-year-old. Court documents say Davis and the victim had inappropriate contact several times, including in Davis' classroom at Scootney Springs Elementary in Othello.

The papers say she went so far as to set up a rendezvous at a friend's house when the home was empty.

When contacted by Othello Police, the victim told authorities he and Davis had kissed several times. He also said Davis had fondled him, and he had touched her breasts. The charges only involve molestation and do not suggest the teacher had sex with her student.

Davis resigned after she was charged. She had been a teacher for 14 years and taught at Scootney Elementary School.

A trial date has been set for Oct. 15.

The case is one of several teacher sex scandals that have happened in the Tri-Cities area.

Back in 2008, a retired teacher from Kennewick High School was given a ten year sentence for raping dozens of male students. At one time, William Pickeral was so esteemed that a section of Kennewick High was named after him. After his conviction, any trace of his legacy was quickly torn down.

That same year Richland High School band teacher Allan Eve was also in court. Prosecutors say Eve crossed the line when he had sex with an 18-year-old student. Technically it wasn't illegal since the student was of-age. The case caused lawmakers to push for a bill that would protect students from predatory teachers, but their efforts never got off the ground. Ultimately, Eve had to register as a sex offender, but avoided jail time.

In the late-1990s, one of the most famous teacher sex scandals of all time originated in the Seattle area. Mary Kay Letorneau spent seven years in prison after she had sex with a 12-year-old. She had two children with him. The couple later married and are together to this day.

15 years later, Lisa Davis is the latest teacher caught up in a sex scandal with an elementary student. Her trial is scheduled for the fall.
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