Father Richard Davis
Diocese of Little Rock
- 1963: Holy Redeemer (El Dorado, AR)
- 1964: Saint Patrick (North Little Rock, AR)
- 1970-1976: Christ the King and Saint Leo (Hartford, AR)
- 1976-1979: Saint Elizabeth (Eureka Springs, AR)
- 1979-1983: Saint James in Searcy and Saint Albert (Heber Springs, AR)
- 1983-1987: Saint Paul (Pocahontas, AR)
- 1987-1989: Saint John (Engelberg, AR) Saint Joseph (Corning, AR) and St. George (Knobel, AR)
- 1989-1996: Saint Mary (Paragould, AR)
- 1996-2020: Saint Boniface (New Dixie, AR), Saint Francis (Little Italy, AR), and Saint Elizabeth (Adona, AR)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Richard Davis:
Fr. Richard Davis became an ordained priest in 1963 and worked in several parishes in the Diocese of Little Rock in Arkansas. In April 2023, an anonymous man filed a lawsuit in White County against the Diocese of Little Rock and two churches where a now-deceased Catholic priest from Pocahontas served as pastor.
According to media reports, the man alleges that he was sexually abused by Fr. Richard Davis when he was a 10-year-old altar boy 42 years ago. The man, referred to in the suit as “John Doe,” is seeking compensation for vicarious liability for Davis’ actions, as well as negligence, negligent supervision and retention of an employee, failure to protect him, and premises liability.
The 20-page lawsuit names two churches as co-defendants, St. James in Searcy and St. Albert in Heber Springs, where Davis was pastor from 1979 to 1983. According to the suit, Doe’s best friend got him interested in the Catholic faith in 1981, taking him to Mass and catechism classes and other church-related activities at the Heber Springs church. After being baptized as a Roman Catholic, he became an altar boy serving under Davis.
The man alleges he was groped twice by Davis during a weeklong training program for altar boys that involved him and another boy staying with Davis at his quarters at the Searcy church. The suit says Davis came into Doe’s room, closed the door, and had Doe sit on his lap, then unzipped the boy’s pants and fondled him. That same night, Doe woke to find Davis standing over him, fondling him.
Doe quit the church soon after because he was afraid of being alone with Davis and felt “guilt and shame” over what the priest did to him, according to the lawsuit. He started getting into trouble at school, his grades suffered, and he began to abuse alcohol and drugs, the lawsuit states. He also began to get in trouble with law enforcement as a teen and young adult, the suit states.
Fr. Davis died in May 2020 after 57 years as a priest in Arkansas.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Little Rock in Arkansas. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Arkansas, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Arkansas and nationwide. We can help. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or email [email protected] to discuss your options today.