Raze Founder Arrested

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Tuesday 1st May 2001

American CCM industry shocked by Raze member's arrest

THE AMERICAN CCM scene has been rocked with the arrest of Ja'Marc Davis, founder member of pop dance group Raze, on serious sexual charges. Davis was arrested in Tulsa, Oklahoma on March 1st. The arrest took place offstage at Tulsa's Brady Theatre immediately following the group's first concert on its 30-city Amazing Pop Invasion tour, in support of Raze's latest release 'The Plan'. According to Tulsa County District Court documents obtained by The CCM Update, Davis was charged with five counts of lewd molestation, three counts of rape by instrumentation and three counts of forcible sodomy. He is accused of having a sexual relationship with a former backup dancer for the group starting in 1998 when she was 13 and he was 22 and continuing for more than a year. Davis has now been released on bail awaiting trial.

Citing information from an arrest affidavit the Tulsa World newspaper reported Davis met the victim and her family through their church and had been asked to tutor the girl. She later travelled as a backup dancer with Raze. The arrest affidavit says the girl told police she had sexual contact 15 to 20 times with Davis during their relationship, at his residence, her home and in his car. In June 1999 Davis reportedly told the director of his church youth group about consensual sexual contact with the 13 year old girl and with two other 16 year old girls. A few days later, the 13 year old also told a pastor at her church that she and Davis had a sexual relationship.

According to a March 1 statement by Teresa Davis, manager of Raze who is also Davis' sister-in-law, Ja'Marc came forward two years ago and made management aware of a need for restoration. "His pastor and I have walked with him during the past two years and have been actively involved in the restoration process," she said in the statement "We are in communication with the affected families and are aware this is not their doing... We ask that you join us and pray for Ja'Marc, the families affected and the other members of Raze. We are certain that these allegations will be sorted out"

When asked about ForeFront's knowledge of Davis' confession two years ago, ForeFront records president Greg Ham declined to comment. However, according to several sources who wished to remain anonymous, some people in Nashville were aware that Davis was pulled off the road and took a six month sabbatical starting in the summer of "99. CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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