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Mother speaks out after daughter said man grabbed her in SLO store

Jonathan Oscar Davis backgroung.jpg
Posted at 6:29 PM, Aug 25, 2023

A 10-year-old girl reported to police that a man touched her inappropriately while she was shopping with her mother and sister in downtown San Luis Obispo last weekend.

The girl's mother, who does not want to be identified to protect her daughter’s identity, says she is still processing what happened to her child.

“Both of his hands on her bottom from underneath and grabbed, and from my understanding, attempted to lift her,” she said.

On Saturday, the woman says she and her two girls visited a retail store along the 800 block of Higuera Street.

“We were shopping downtown and approaching Bath and Body Works with four children and another mother and myself,” she recalled. “The two little children went into the store first, followed by the older children and then the adults.”

Once inside the store, she says the situation quickly escalated.

“My oldest daughter noticed that a man cut in between the two groups of children and seemed to be following her sister,” she said.

She says her 13-year-old daughter was quick to react.

“She screamed loudly and got the whole store's attention.”

She says this allowed her to confront the man.

“I was able to meet him and stop him from exiting the store, have a conversation, ask him what he was doing,” she said. “He responded that he was 'minding his business.’ I asked him if minding his business was touching little girls. He said that ‘maybe it was.’” 

Police have identified the suspect as 48-year-old Jonathan Oscar Davis. Authorities say he remained in the store until officers arrived.

“What's particularly troubling about this is that Mr. Davis does have a history, and we've charged him with having three prior acts of child molestation in our community beginning in 2005, again in 2006, and as recent as 2018,” said San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow.

Davis was arraigned this week and pleaded not guilty.

“One of the additional enhancements that we've charged is the fact that he has this prior conviction for residential burglary in the past that, under California’s Three Strikes law, means that any sentence he's receiving in this new case could be double,” Dow explained.

Davis remains in custody at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. His bail is set at $150,000.

“His maximum exposure on this case is 12 years in state prison,” Dow added. “He's already a registered sex offender, and of course, this offense, any conviction, would also result in a lifetime registration.”

The girl's mother says the family is recovering emotionally from the incident and readjusting to their routines.

She has a message for other parents.

“I think it's important that parents talk to their children, teach them to be aware, to use their voices like my oldest daughter did, and to draw attention to adults when they need it,” she said. “There are people around that will help.”

The preliminary hearing for Davis is scheduled for Sept. 5, 2023.

KSBY News reached out to his public defender, but we have not received a response.

KSBY News also contacted Bath and Body Works to see if they had a comment on the incident, but they did not respond.

“If there are people in the community that recognize Mr. Davis that may have ever been harmed by him and have not reported, we would want the public to contact the District Attorney's Office and let us know,” Dow said.

To make a report anonymously, contact SLO County Crime Stoppers.

You can also reach out to the SLO County District Attorney’s Office at (805) 781-5800.