Persistent Prayer Pays Off for Wrongfully Accused Man
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Self-made millionaire Tiki Davis has faced his share of obstacles on his way to success. Starting with his childhood where he was one step away from becoming another statistic. He recalls, “When I was growing up in Odessa, we were murder capital of the world; the drugs, the crime, and a lot of that stuff was going on around here. And I was just a product of it.”
With an absentee dad and a drug-addicted mom, Tiki had to take care of himself from an early age. He was living on the streets by the time he was twelve. Yet Tiki, saw a way out of his poverty: playing football. He says, “My first goal and aspiration that I really could remember was to be a football player. The game of football gave me a sense of meaning, made me feel good about myself.”
His fortune would change when a teacher arranged for him to be moved into a boy’s home. Tiki recalls, “At that time, 11, 12 years old was the first time in my life that I knew I was gonna have a stable place to live. I was able to go to football practice every day. I was able to play in the games every week. That's when I started to excel because my home life was somewhat normal. I was really feeling really good there.”
In high school, life got even better... Tiki moved in with a loving foster family, was making good grades, and was a shoo-in for a football scholarship. Then, the summer of his senior year, a girl accused him of rape. Tiki says, “At that time, I didn’t know how much trouble I was in. I felt shocked. I felt defeated. I was accused of a crime that wiped my whole football career way. Talking about the lowest point in my life. And that moment was that dream, that first thing that I wanted, it was gone.”
Despite insufficient evidence, Tiki’s court appointed lawyer advised Tiki to plead guilty to a lesser charge. He would serve 6 months in county jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now his hopes for college and a successful career seemed to vanish. However, in jail, Tiki fully dedicated his life to God. He recalls, “All I had was God, I said, ‘God, just see me through this.’ As I would go to chapel when I was incarcerated, you know, the story of Abraham, story of David, guys that had great pain or, you know, one day they were in the fields and the next day they were in the palace and stuff like that. I said, ‘If God, God did it for David, he can do it for me.’"
After his release, Tiki went on to graduate high school and got a job washing cars at a dealership. Two years later the law changed, and he now had to register as a sex offender – not part of his original plea deal. Tiki knew that label would make life much harder. He says, “It made me feel like I was guilty. And that's when I really did get angry because now, you're on the internet. I prayed every day or every week when I was going through that time in my life. ‘Remove this case, remove this crime, remove this outta my life, God.’ I didn't know if God was gonna answer that prayer. But I never questioned God.”
Still, Tiki would defy the odds. With the help of his employer, he went on to earn a bachelor’s and then a master’s degree. Afterwards he worked in the oil and gas industry and eventually started his own energy consulting firm. By 35 he was a millionaire and a pillar of the community. Yet, he still carried the stigma of being labeled a sex offender as the courts had refused to clear his name. He recalls, “The only thing that I asked Him for directly that I asked God for was to remove this registry, clean my name, and I challenged the state of Texas to honor their original agreement.”
As his lawyer prepared his case, Tiki continued to trust God for justice. Then one day he got an unexpected call – it was the woman who had accused him all those years ago. “She says, ‘Tiki, I've been wanting to help you for 15 years.’ She says, ‘I know you are a good man. I'm ashamed of what I did to you.’ So now any anger or any malice that I have for her all went out the window because now this whole time, these 20 plus years, I think I'm the only one suffering. And she says, ‘Tiki, I'm sorry.’ And I'm said, ‘I'm sorry.’”
While Tiki had forgiven her, there was on thing that needed to be done. He recalls, “And I found myself telling her, ‘I don't know if I can get this done without your help. If you tell the lawyers what you told me, then we should be good.'"
So, the woman recanted her testimony and on May 17th, 2018, Tiki Davis once again stood before a judge. Tiki recalls, “The judge says, ‘Tiki, I can't do anything about the state of Texas. Can't do anything that happened in this courtroom before me, but I can do something today.’ And he says, ‘moving forward, you're a free man. I'm gonna remove you from the registry today.’ And so, man, I cried, man.”
Today, Tiki is an award-willing entrepreneur, successful businessman, and motivational speaker. He says his faith in God is what carried him through the trials he faced and delivered him from his traumatic past. He says, “If I look back over my life, God's been with me the whole time. I couldn't have got through what I got through if God wasn't the one that was carrying me. I’m only here because the grace of God.”
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