The ongoing trial of a former 4-H employee accused of having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl focused on witnesses testifying in her behalf Tuesday.
The trial against Jennifer Gayle Davenport, 27, of Augusta, started Monday. Prosecutors rested their case after the 15-year-old victim underwent cross-examination including a review of her videotaped interview at the Child Advocacy Center.
Davenport was arrested April 1 and charged with aggravated sexual battery and aggravated child molestation after victim’s mother told Columbia County Sheriff’s Office investigators that she discovered Davenport had a sexual relationship with her 15-year-old daughter.
Davenport is accused of sexual conduct with the teen inside the girl’s Martinez home on three separate occasions in February.
Investigator Brian Jones testified that the only evidence of the incident is the victim’s statement.
Davenport’s attorney, Lynn Akeley-Alderman, said in her opening statement Monday that the victim made up the allegations.
On Tuesday, she called 10 people to the stand as character witnesses for Davenport, who was a 4-H program assistant for about a year until just before her arrest.
All of those witnesses described Davenport as an out-going person who was popular among the 4-Hers she worked with.
“The kids loved her,” said Linda Luoma, who worked with Davenport in the 4-H office. “She’s fun-loving. The kids loved to be around her.”
Seven of the victim’s peers in 4-H and high school testified that they spent a lot of time with Davenport without any inappropriate behavior. They also all agreed that the victim’s “reputation in the community for truthfulness” wasn’t a good one. One specified the victim is known for “exaggeration.”
None of the teens said they would believe the victim under oath.
One teen said the victim persistently asked her if Davenport abused her and encouraged her to come forward with allegations.
The defense attorney rested her case.
Jurors are expected to hear closing arguments and begin deliberations on Wednesday.