A special prosecutor has declined to file charges against Henry Davis Jr. for posting an explicit image depicting bestiality on his Facebook page.
The photo in question showed a man engaged in an explicit act with a dog. Davis Jr. posted it to his Facebook page, along with a link to a blog on Jan. 26.
“This blog post and accompanying image was an attempt to start a discussion on a reading that jarred my sensibilities although posted to my Facebook page," Davis Jr. explained earlier this year. "It’s not an expression of my personal or political views. Many people have found it offensive. It was a mistake on my part and for that I am truly remorseful and I ask for my, I ask you for your forgiveness.”
The decision not to charge Davis Jr. was determined by the special prosecutor, who determined that there was no criminal intent on Davis' part or on the part of anyone else who shared the photo.
"I am elated with the Prosecutor Hampton's decision not to file any
formal charges in light of the issue regarding my Facebook post," Davis Jr. said after the announcement. "I apologize for my lapse in
judgment, and for the distraction from the important work that this issue has caused. I would also like to thank all of my supporters for standing behind me during this trying time.
"As we move forward it is incumbent on us to focus on the issues that so deeply affect the residents of South Bend: high unemployment, low high school graduation rates, loss of tax base and crime in our
"I ask my fellow South Bend residents to remain steadfast in our collective efforts in keeping our elected officials accountable but also in supporting us while we work on the important work ahead. I am convinced that South Bend will prosper again."
From the St. Joseph County Prosecutor's Office:
Daniel H. Hampton was appointed as a special prosecutor in order to investigate complaints made against Henry Davis, Jr.; specifically, that Henry Davis, Jr. allegedly re-posted on his Facebook page a link to an article along with an accompanying photograph of an alleged act of bestiality.
At the conclusion of his investigation and in his Special
Prosecutor's Report, Mr. Hampton notes that Henry Davis, Jr., "knowingly exhibited obscene material on his public Facebook page in an apparent violation of I.C. 935-49- 3-1(2)."
The Special Prosecutor further noted what he describes as a "ripple effect, wherein other individuals who discovered the obscene material, arguably otherwise law abiding St. Joseph County citizens, then responded to the exhibition by re-posting the information on their own Facebook pages, each potentially committing their own separate violations of I.C. 935-49-3-1 (2); thus creating the potential for a perpetual cycle of violations ... , by concerned citizens expressing their disgust and/or outrage."
However, the Special Prosecutor declines to prosecute Henry Davis, Jr., because, after the investigation, the Special Prosecutor determined that Mr. Davis "lacked the requisite criminal intent and moreover, the understanding, that his use of Facebook to display obscene material in this manner would constitution [sic] a violation of I.C. 35- 49-3-1."
Since Mr. Davis, Jr., "lacked the requisite mens rea," the Special Prosecutor declined to file charges against Davis (see attached report).