Ex-UC assistant basketball coach pleads guilty to misdemeanor assault

Larry Davis has been under federal investigation related to an alleged groping attack on a plane
Updated: Oct. 23, 2018 at 8:01 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - University of Cincinnati Assistant Basketball Coach Larry Davis abruptly announced last month he was retiring after more than 30 years in the business.

FOX19 NOW confirmed UC forced Davis out and he has been under federal investigation related to an alleged groping attack of a woman seated next to him on a plane from Wisconsin to North Carolina.

On Thursday, Davis, 62, of Fort Wright, pleaded guilty in a Charlotte courtroom.

He is now awaiting sentencing. The maximum is six months in prison.

“On September 12, 2017, the defendant, Larry Allen Davis, was a passenger on American Airlines flight 4203 from Milwaukee, WI, to Charlotte North Carolina,” reads a document called “Factual Basis” and signed by Kimlani M. Ford, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Western District of of North Carolina Charlotte Division.

“While the aircraft was in flight, the defendant knowingly committed a simple assault against (victim’s initial’s) who had attained the age of 16. While the assault occurred, the aircraft was in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States.”

The document was signed Sept. 27 by Davis' lawyer, Dhamian A. Blue of Raleigh, N.C., under a section that reads: “I hereby certify that the defendant does not dispute the Factual Basis.”

All other federal records are sealed at this point, and federal officials in Charlotte have repeatedly declined comment for this story.

Davis' lawyer could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The victim, a 23-year-old South Carolina woman, filed an incident report with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department on Sept. 12, 2017.

She told authorities “she was inappropriately touched by the passenger seated next to her. See supplement,” the report states.

Police refused to release the supplement to FOX19 NOW, even though they said they closed the case and turned it over to the FBI. When we questioned the legality of that decision, they produced the statute showing law enforcement in the North Carolina have the discretion to withhold such documents.

The victim’s father said in a recent interview the incident has been an ordeal for their family.

At the time of the alleged incident, the victim did not know the identity of the man sitting next to her on the plane, he said. Then someone told them to look on UC’s website.

“The disturbing part of it is after he exited the plane he changed clothes and tried to hide in one of the shops in the Charlotte airport. When the police found him and asked him what his name was, he gave them an alias name but when they went back to the manifest that name was not on that flight.”

In a statement Tuesday to FOX19 NOW, UC Director of Athletics Mike Bohn said Davis was ousted as soon as university officials learned allegations against him "may have additional support.”

The coach was put on leave for nearly two weeks in September 2017, after UC learned of the allegations, according to Bohn and personnel records released to us last week.

“In Fall 2017, we learned of allegations against former employee Larry Davis regarding an off-campus incident which did not involve any member of the campus community,” Bohn’s statement reads.

"We immediately took proactive measures and suspended him from his duties while we took additional steps to ascertain more information. We could not substantiate the allegations at that time.

"We recently learned that the allegations may have additional support. Consistent with our guiding principles, we immediately commenced the process for separation. As Mr. Davis is no longer employed by the University, we have no further comment.”

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