Jury convicts rape, burglary assailant

By Derek Albert

newstnews@bellsouth.net

St. Martinville – A St. Martin Parish jury deliberated for only one hour Thursday (Jan. 15), to convict Kendall Paul Davis of aggravated rape and aggravated burglary.

Davis, 20, having been found guilty, faces a possible sentence of life in prison, said Assistant District Attorney Chester Cedars. The defense counsel was New Orleans attorney Garron Johnson.

On the evening of Oct. 23, 2007, Davis violently kicked in the front door of the victim’s Knight Street home and immediately made his way into her bedroom where she and her six-month-old child were awakened. After a couple attempts to violently rape the victim, the seemingly conscientious Davis attempted to fashion a condom from a plastic shopping bag. With his ingenuity unavailed, Davis raped his victim and fled the scene.

On the following morning, witnesses told authorities that they had seen Davis leaving from the victim’s residence. When approached by St. Martinville Police later that day, Davis denied accusations of being anywhere in the victim’s vicinity. Cedars said Davis even denied that he knew her.

Three days later, the victim, who couldn’t properly identify her assailant from the time of the assault, vaguely recognized Davis on city streets. The victim identified Davis from a photographic lineup gathered by police.

What seems to have been the most determinant piece of evidence against Davis was the crime lab chemist’s testimony. Cedars said, according to the DNA analysis provided by the crime lab’s rape kit, there was only a one in 520 quadrillion chance that Davis was not the assailant in the case. Cedars quipped that there may have not had that many people who have ever lived on Earth.

Davis’ counsel contended that the sexual encounter was consentual and was based on a previous relationship that Davis shared with the victim. Cedars described the evidence in this case to be contrary to these facts.

First, based on the “gruesome nature” of the case, Cedars argued that the victim did not give Davis consent during the violent encounter. The victim suffered bruises and abrasions that were determined to be sourced from the attack at St. Martin Hospital immediately following the incident.

“I felt this case was a case of lust and violence coupled with lies and deceit,” Cedars told Teche News.

Cedars said he expressed to the jury that it is because of cases of this nature that rape victims are reluctant to report these crimes to authorities.

Though the prosecution could not present Davis’ previous criminal record to the jury, Cedars said Davis had previously been arrested on numerous occasions. The majority of the arrests on file were for different charges of burglary, theft and other misdemeanors. But a Dec. 10, 2005 booking sheet has Davis charged with simple battery and attempted rape. Cedars said the 2005 crime was similar to what Davis was convicted for last week.

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