Niles man gets prison time for child abuse

Published 3:00 pm Monday, July 24, 2023


NILES — A Niles man who injured his daughter by striking her with a belt was sentenced to prison Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.

Torrell Brandon Davis, 36, of Niles, pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree child abuse and was sentenced to 14 months to two years in prison.

The incident occurred Feb. 24 in Niles Township when he struck his daughter with a belt after a disagreement, leaving her with injuries to her arm, wrist, hip and buttocks. The incident was turned over to police by school officials who observed the bruises.

Davis’ daughter and wife spoke before the sentencing. The daughter said that she was not afraid of her father and knows he is sorry for his actions and just wanted the best for her. His wife said the situation with her husband not allowed to be in the home has caused problems for the family and that he only wants the best for his family.

Davis said he was truly sorry for his actions and didn’t mean to hurt his daughter.

“I have nothing but love for her, she’s always going to be my baby and I will be there for her,” he said. “I know what I did was wrong … I never hit her before. Counseling has shown me different ways to respond besides using physical force.”

Defense attorney Trevor Maveal said Davis’ actions came after his daughter had defied him and his wife previously when she had a relationship with an older boy. Just before this incident, they had learned that she had gotten a phone against their wishes and had threatened another girl.

“In this incident, he went overboard,” Maveal said. “He cried and comforted her the next day when he saw the bruises he had inflicted … He knows what he did was wrong. He’s ashamed of how he spoke to her but he was trying to get her to understand that her behavior wasn’t acceptable to him.”

Berrien County Trial Judge Jennifer Smith said she saw a history of violence when she looked at Davis’ record. She noted that his past history was more than just youth indiscretions as he has had multiple domestic violence charges and went to prison for assault with a dangerous weapon.

“After the 2021 incident, you didn’t spend two years learning how to deal with your teenage daughter,” she said. “On this occasion you went over the line. I wouldn’t call it discipline, this was you acting out of anger and frustration. Beating her didn’t accomplish what you wanted. I’m glad you apologized but it still happened.”