Judge: Payette man will serve at least 15 years for sexual abuse of children

A judge declared Jacob Stephen Davis a habitual offender, subjecting him to a 15-year minimum sentence for sexually abusing two teenage boys.

Third District Judge Susan Wiebe made the ruling Tuesday, following a hearing in Payette.

On Friday, a jury found Davis, 31, guilty of sexually abusing two boys when they were 15 and 16. He was convicted of two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual battery of a minor.

Davis was also convicted of one count of possession of child pornography, which involved two separate victims, a boy and a girl.

The sentencing enhancement applies because Davis was convicted in Payette County in 2003 for possessing child pornography. He spent four years in prison in that case.

In 1993, the Idaho Legislature enacted a 15-year mandatory sentence for repeat offenders of child sexual abuse.

“It is the policy of the legislature to protect children from the physical and psychological damage caused by their being used in sexual conduct,” the statute reads. “In order to protect children from becoming victims of this type of conduct by perpetrators, it is necessary to provide mandatory minimum sentencing.”

Lewd conduct carries a sentence of up to life in prison. Davis faces up to 15 years each on the sexual battery and possession of child pornography counts.

Davis is scheduled for sentencing on Oct. 16. Wiebe ordered a psychosexual evaluation of Davis as part of the standard presentence investigation.

The victims, who were members of a high school FFA organization, met Davis when they took part in an FFA workday at a Payette business where Davis had an affiliation. Davis became a father figure for the boys and later moved them into a home in Payette and paid most of their living expenses, Payette County Prosecutor Anne-Marie Kelso said.

The boys, who previously lived with Davis and his family near Anderson Corner in Payette County, performed sex acts with Davis in exchange for money and items such as dirt bikes and cell phones, Kelso wrote in a written statement Monday. The arrangement lasted for about nine months, she said.

Court testimony indicated the boys had few financial resources and Davis took advantage of that, Kelso said. There was also testimony that Davis and one of the boys considered themselves a “couple.”

The abuse took place at the 7th Avenue home, on camping trips, at a Davis family home in Parma and at the business, Kelso said.

Davis was convicted of two counts of lewd conduct with a minor and two counts of sexual battery of a minor. He was also convicted of one count of possession of sexually exploitative material, which involved two separate victims, one boy and one girl.

The jury acquitted Davis of six other counts of lewd conduct, sexual battery and sexual exploitation of a child.

Police began looking into Davis’ activities when his grandfather reported a burglary and Davis was later named a suspect. During their investigation, officers learned that Davis had been sexually abusing the boys.

A Payette County jury found Davis guilty in May of failing to register as a sex offender. He is scheduled to appear before Wiebe for sentencing in that case on Sept. 4.

Davis was also convicted of burglary in a 2003 case from Washington County.