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Norfolk man pleads guilty to raping hotel housekeeper after threatening her with knife

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A 30-year-old man pleaded guilty last week to raping a downtown Norfolk hotel housekeeper last year.

Donte Jamal Davis, 30, will be sentenced on Aug. 2. As part of his plea agreement, Davis will serve no more than 31 years in prison.

According to court records, on May 15, 2023, the employee was cleaning a hotel room and had left the door ajar as she worked. Davis came into the room with his genitals exposed, threatened the employee with a knife and raped her.

The employee’s supervisor came to the room to check on her work and heard the employee call for help. Davis pushed past the supervisor, ran out of the room while still in a state of undress and threatened to kill the supervisor after she chased him.

Security footage from the hotel hallways and exits showed Davis fleeing, and photos of Davis were disseminated to all Norfolk Police officers and local security agencies.

Later that day, an off-duty officer saw Davis boarding a light rail train and recognized Davis from the photos. The officer reported the sighting of Davis to the case investigators who served a search warrant on Hampton Roads Transit for footage showing Davis.

Investigators also obtained and executed a search warrant on a residence connected to Davis. They found belongings that matched items the suspect was seen with in both the hotel and light rail footage.

Subsequent DNA testing of some of those items confirmed the presence of the victim’s blood and Davis’ sperm.

On May 23, the first day of his requested jury trial, Davis accepted an agreement to plead guilty to rape as charged.

“I feel deeply for the survivor of Mr. Davis’ crime,” said Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “She was at work, doing her job and caring for others, and Mr. Davis preyed on her where she deserved to feel safe.”

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.