Union Co. man accused of abusing 3-yr-old Kilah Davenport says h - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Union Co. man accused of abusing 3-yr-old Kilah Davenport says he's not guilty

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MONROE, NC (WBTV) -

The man law enforcement says threw a 3-year-old Union County girl against a wall last year was in court Tuesday morning. 

Kilah Davenport's family said it's a miracle she survived the attack. They've put her name on a state law and on a federal bill increasing jail time for child abusers. And now they said they will be ready when this case goes to trial.

The Davenports said before court they did not know what Josh Houser would tell the judge when he was asked if he was guilty or not guilty of child abuse.

Houser has been in the Union County Jail on a $1 million dollar bond since May of 2012.  And the judge asked him to clarify why Houser said he can no longer afford the lawyer standing by his side Tuesday in the court room.

"How long have you been incarcerated?  This indicates you have been incarcerated in the Union County jail for some period of time," asked the Union County Superior Court Judge David Lee.

"Yes, way too long. Way too long," said Josh Houser in response.

Outside the courthouse, Kilah's grandmother Leslie Davenport said, "Not long enough."

Davenport said now that Houser's lawyer told the judge Houser's not guilty, her family will be ready for his trial.

"We have to relive it all again and that's the hard part is having to relive what actually happened to Kilah on that day," said Davenport.

Law enforcement said back in May 2012 Houser threw 3-year-old Kilah Davenport against a wall almost killing her.  She's survives with a lot of care from her mom and family.

"It's not going to be easy for any of us," said Davenport about the trial, "But I'm ready to get it over with and move on because we have a lot to do. And we just want to start helping other children and saving lives."

Monday night the family watched as the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Kilah Davenport Child Protection Act, which would help increase prison time for convicted child abusers who cause serious injuries, for at least ten years.

"We're very excited that this has gone to the federal level to the United States House. It's passed through the house now we're waiting on a vote from the Senate which hopefully could be today," said Davenport.

When it gets to the president's desk after the holidays, the family hopes they can be there the same way they saw Kilah's law signed by the governor in North Carolina.

"I think we need to show Kilah's face in Washington," said Davenport.

Kilah Davenport was at the courthouse Tuesday but not in the courtroom.  

"Last time we were in court with Kilah it kind of set her back hearing his voice," said Davenport, "We had her turned away from him.  We saw a difference in her.  We didn't want to do that again today."

Kilah's grandmother said at some point during the trial she knows Kilah will have to be in the courtroom.  She said they will request special consideration for some type of headphones so Kilah won't have to hear Houser's voice. The judge did not set a trial date, it will be determined by the district attorney.

Kilah's law went into effect December 1st.  The North Carolina law increases penalties for child abusers.  If Houser is convicted, Kilah's law would not apply to him.

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