Mom Sues SC Special Olympics

10:14 PM, Apr 18, 2013   |    comments
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Columbia, SC (WLTX) - The South Carolina Special Olympics has been added to a list of defendants in a civil lawsuit over a reported sexual assault.

A 15-year-old girl and her mother claim Cornelius Davis sexually assaulted the girl back in 2012.

At the time, Davis was working as a basketball coach with the Special Olympics. He has been charged with criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Lexington School District Two is also named in the lawsuit because at the time of the alleged assault, Davis worked as a teaching assistant at Brookland Cayce.

"There is really no way to describe it, I was just horrified," said Essence Gregg.

At a Special Olympics event in Charleston just more than a year ago, Gregg says her special needs daughter was excited to be playing basketball in the games.

But according to a Mount Pleasant police report, the event the night before the game is something the victim's mother has tried to erase from her memory.

"There are sick people out there because I would not imagine him doing that," said Gregg.

Gregg says her daughter was sexually assaulted by her coach, 29 year old Cornelius Davis. The police report says that Davis came to the girls' hotel room at 10 PM and told the chaperone that he needed to take the girl to see her mother at a different hotel. But Gregg says she didn't ask to see her daughter and she never arrived at her hotel.
The report says the girl didn't return for four hours.

"The thought that he would come up with that type of story threw me for a loop, where is his mind, who does that, you have to be a sick individual to do that."

The report goes on to say that the mom discovered text messages allegedly from Davis. When confronted about the issue, the girl said that she had sex with Davis in Cayce the day before and again that night in Davis' hotel room.

The family's attorney,  David Massey says he believes they have enough evidence against Davis.

"DNA evidence pertaining to some medical examinations that were done shortly after this horrific event, we have numerous statements that time him into this," said Massey.

The family says the South Carolina Special Olympics should also be held responsible because their rules state that there should be 24-hour supervision of the athletes.

"We know now that this child was allowed to be alone for about 4 hours with a 29 year old man, that is why this child has been hurt and that was a violation of the Special Olympics own rules." said Massey.

For Gregg, she says her daughter is now home schooled and has to have counseling. With that in mind, she doesn't think her daughter's life will ever get back to normal.

"Normal stuff that she was doing, praise dancing in church, singing on the choir; it all seemed to be going downhill so I pray to God that one day we will get past this but I don't see that happening," said Gregg.
Davis has been charged with Criminal Sexual Conduct With a minor. 

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