Christian music performer pleads guilty to sex offenses

Friday, November 2nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ An award-winning Christian music performer pleaded guilty Thursday to sex offenses involving a teen-age girl who danced for his Tulsa-based group.

Ja'Marc Antoine Davis, who performed with the Christian dance pop group Raze, pleaded guilty to felony counts of rape by instrumentation, lewd molestation and sodomy. A judge will formally sentence Davis, 26, on Dec. 13.

Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris recommended a 10-year sentence as part of a plea negotiation in which seven related counts were dismissed.

District Judge Jefferson Sellers ordered a background report be done on Davis. Sellers told him there is no ``guarantee of probation.''

Police arrested Davis after the band's March 1 in Tulsa, which was the first date in the band's 30-city tour. The tour was later canceled.

Prosecutors accused Davis of having a sexual relationship from mid-1998 to mid-1999 with a girl who was underage. She performed as a backup dancer for the group.

According to a police affidavit, the girl told officers she had consensual sexual contact with Davis 15 to 20 times, usually when they were in Davis' car. The girl is now 17.

Davis admitted having an ``intimate'' relationship and being ``physically involved'' with the girl, who he said was 14 ``when they first began seeing each other,'' according to the affidavit.

Defense attorney Rob Nigh said Davis' musical career is ``on hold'' and that he has not been performing with Raze while awaiting a resolution of his case.

Raze earned a Dove Award in the category of Dance/Rap/Hip-Hop earlier this year. The group also won a Spot Music Award last year in the category of best gospel act.

Davis remains free on bail.