Joel Davis, Founder Of Youth To End Sexual Violence, Arrested For Child Sex Crimes

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Joel Davis, a Columbia University student with a reputation for volunteerism and extensive work with non-profit organizations that aid women and children, left many people in shock when he was arrested and charged with possession of child pornography and other sex crimes.

The Daily Beast says that Davis, who founded an international organization called Youth to End Sexual Violence and worked with numerous outreach programs, was also the target of a federal sting. He was charged with sex crimes against children, on counts of possessing child pornography and attempting to have sex with a minor and coercing a minor.

The federal prosecutor, U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman, said that Davis fooled an entire community, portraying himself as the good guy while involved in dark deeds.

“Joel Davis started an organization devoted to stopping sexual violence, while allegedly engaged in the duplicitous behavior of sharing explicit images of infants engaged in sexual activity.”

Some of his peers at American University say that Davis was more interested in courting media attention than doing the real work, with one acquaintance saying,

“There was one time I was assisting other students in putting on an event to raise money for girls’ education in the developing world, and I guess they’d heard about his work, so they reached out to him. But the partnership ended up falling apart over issues related to how much of the spotlight he would have to himself.”

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Much of the case is based on conversations that Davis had with an undercover FBI agent posing as a parent of minor children (ages 9 and 2) available for sexual activity. Davis told the agent he had no age limits and “had had sexual encounters with a 9-month-old boy, a 6-year-old girl, and a 7-year-old boy.” After his arrest, he admitted to having a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old boy he met on Grindr.

Davis had attended a United Nations event after receiving an invitation from celebrity philanthropist Angelina Jolie. He is now facing 10 years in prison for “enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity,” at least 15 years in prison for attempted sexual exploitation, and at least five years in prison for owning child pornography if convicted.

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The New York Times quoted Berman as describing Davis’ alleged behavior as disgusting.

“The conduct alleged against Joel Davis is as unfathomable as it is sickening.”

At this time, Joel Davis is being held at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan without bond.