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Officials: SWAT suspect was Ohio sex offender on lam

LAWRENCEVILLE -- An Ohio man who allegedly sexually assaulted a Norcross woman at knife-point Wednesday and triggered a SWAT standoff had been wanted by authorities in his home state, where he's been considered a sex offender since he was a juvenile, officials told the Daily Post on Thursday.

Norcross police said Larry Anthony Davis, 25, posed as maintenance at the Woodchase apartments, knocked on the 41-year-old victim's door and then attacked her, brandishing a knife with brass knuckles in the handle.

Davis punched the woman at least twice in the face, fracturing her eye-socket, and sexually assaulting her, according to his arrest warrants. His involvement in other crimes is under investigation, including a possible link to attempted child abductions and a rape in the general area.

Davis is scheduled for an April 12 probable cause hearing in Gwinnett Magistrate Court on charges of aggravated sexual battery, aggravated assault, false imprisonment and weapons possession during the commission of a felony. His charges don't end there.

Dennis Barr, chief criminal prosecutor in Stark County, said Davis has two active warrants in Ohio for failing to register as a sex offender and for absconding from the state, violating terms of his release from prison.

Davis spent about three years in Ohio prison for failing to report his change of address in 2009, as his status as a "habitual sex offender" required. A court official said the underlying conviction happened when Davis was a juvenile, and thus no public record was available.

Michael Davis, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction spokesman, said Davis was released from prison on Jan. 28.

Gwinnett police issued an alert to the public two days prior to Davis's arrest that a man had been approaching teens and children in the Snellville and Norcross areas in four separate instances dating back to Jan. 31.

In two cases, youngsters told police the man who approached them wore a black mask. A woman at another complex near Norcross reported March 18 that a mask-wearing man had sexually assaulted her.

Davis's possible involvement in those incidents is being probed, police said this week.

"Our investigators are following up on all leads regarding this investigation," Gwinnett police spokesman Cpl. Edwin Ritter said Thursday.

Norcross police Chief Warren Summers said investigators found evidence that Davis may have been staying in woods near the apartments. Among his confiscated belongings was a black ski mask, the chief said.

Summers, the Norcross chief, said Davis suffered from deteriorating mental health. Barr said he saw no record of competency issues or insanity claims in Davis's dealings in Ohio courts.

Davis remains jailed in Gwinnett without bond.