Christian band cancels tour after member's arrest

Thursday, March 8th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The Christian hip-hop band, Raze, brought its 30-city tour to a halt Thursday because of sex charges pending against band member Ja'Marc Davis.

The three other members of the Tulsa-based band said they planned to take a few months off the road to ``regroup with their families and churches and to seek God's will,'' their publicist said in a news release.

Davis made an initial court appearance Wednesday on five counts of lewd molestation, three counts of rape by instrumentation and three counts of forcible sodomy with an underage girl. A judge ordered the 25-year-old back in court in April for a preliminary hearing.

``Please withhold judgement and pray for Ja'Marc,'' said band member Donnie, who like the other band members goes by a first name only. ``Mizzie, Todd and I also would appreciate your prayers as we walk through this. Thank you for your support of Raze.''

Police arrested Davis offstage March 1 following a performance in Tulsa, the first stop of the band's Amazing Pop Invasion Tour.

The charges allege that Davis had a consensual sexual relationship during 1998 and 1999 with an underage girl who was a backup dancer for Raze. He was 22 when the relationship started and the girl was 13, according to the charges.

The band was scheduled to play in Columbus, Ohio, on Thursday and Knoxville, Tenn., on Friday.

``Out of the 30 dates on the tour, about half the promoters wanted to keep their dates in,'' said Valerie Summers, the band's agent. ``However, after much prayer and discussion, Raze felt it would be best emotionally, spiritually and financially to cancel the remaining dates.''

The news release said Raze will continue ``but feels the immediate need to seek pastoral counseling to wisely plan their next steps.''