Former Othello teacher pleads not guilty to molestation

Columbia Basin HeraldJuly 30, 2013 

RITZVILLE -- Former Othello elementary teacher Lisa Davis made her first appearance in court this week, pleading innocent to molesting a 10-year-old boy.

Adams County prosecutors charged Davis, 48, with first-degree child molestation. She is accused of having an improper relationship with a student at Scootney Springs Elementary School in Othello, according to court documents.

Friends and family embraced Davis outside the Ritzville courtroom after Monday's hearing.

Patrick Earl, of Moses Lake, Davis' attorney, declined to comment further. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Carolyn Benzel also declined to comment.

Davis was released and ordered not to contact the alleged victim. She also is prohibited from contact with any minor males and frequenting places where minors gather, according to court documents.

Othello School District officials received information May 30 indicating possible inappropriate conduct between Davis and a student. The human resources director contacted the Othello Police Department the same day, according to court documents.

Davis was placed on administrative leave and resigned following the accusations.

The alleged relationship began in late 2012 and continued into 2013, according to a police report. Davis and the boy allegedly spent a lot of time together and spoke frequently on the phone. She also allegedly took the boy to movies out of town and gave gifts to him and his family.

According to court documents, Davis admitted to inappropriately touching the boy two or three times. The child said the incidents happened in her classroom and at a house belonging to Davis' friend.

If convicted, Davis could face a maximum life sentence and up to a $50,000 fine.

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