The Nicaraguan man whose parents were convicted of brutally abusing him more than a decade ago when the family lived in South Florida returned to Miami Wednesday to continue his quest to have them freed from prison.
Ricardo Davila, 24, arrived on a flight Wednesday as he seeks to have Florida Gov. Rick Scott pardon his father, also named Ricardo, and his mother, Josepha, who were convicted in 2000 of carrying out what authorities called torture in the family's Sweetwater home.
"They're good people, in the past they were people who took care of me and they're not bad, they just make a mistake, what any human can do," Davila said.
Davila's mother and father are behind bars, where they are expected to be for the rest of their lives for abusing him when he was just 12 years old. Father Ricardo Davila was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences plus 40 more years, while Josefa was sentenced to 89 years in prison.
Police photos document the beatings Davila received, with scars and bruises covering his body. He was allegedly beaten with electrical cords and locked in a bathroom for hours at a time among other unthinkable punishments.
"He had a medical condition where he would vomit every once in awhile, so when he vomited, the parents would grab him by the hair and make him eat the vomit from the floor," former Sweetwater Police Chief Jesse Menocal said in 2000.
Davila, who now lives with his sister with their maternal grandmother in Nicaragua, says his faith helped him forgive and get over the injuries.
"Just to my body, my heart is clean," he said.
Through the help of agencies like the Nicaraguan-American Task Force and Enlace Comunitario or Community Link, Davila seeks a pardon for his parents. He has a meeting with the governor's legal department next month. The agencies behind him argue a life sentence for his father and 89 years for his mother is too harsh a punishment.
"The main goal for this visit is just to let Rick Scott know that I already forgave my parents even though they hurt my feelings and they hurt my body," he said.