Apr 28, 2022
A 24-year-old California man is accused of posing as a prepubescent girl to form relationships with more than 80 children throughout the United States in an effort to force them to produce online child sex abuse material.
Demetrius Carl Davis, 24, was booked into the Sacramento County Jail on Tuesday on a charge of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14, according to a report from NBC News.
A months-long investigation into Davis was launched after the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office received a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Sergeant Rodney Grassmann said.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office identified more than 80 victims in the United States and alleged that Demetrius Carl Davis had pretended to be a young girl named Lizzy and contacted “well over 100 children” in 2020 and 2021, including some in other countries, according to a Los Angeles Times report.
The victims were typically between the ages of six and 13.
The Department of Homeland Security is assisting investigators in identifying more than 15 international victims, according to a video statement from Sergeant Grassmann.
“Davis is suspected of generating numerous fictitious social media accounts, portraying himself as a prepubescent female child named Lizzy,” Grassmann said.
“Davis used these accounts to befriend and communicate with children on the internet in order to groom them,” he added.
A search warrant executed at Davis’ house on December 1, 2021, led to the discovery of recordings of children engaged in sexual acts on the suspect’s electronic devices, Grassmann said.
According to Grassmann, Davis would lure the children into participating in the creation of child sexual abuse material (CSAM) by:
The videos showed children engaging in sexual acts with their siblings and other children, Sergeant Grassmann confirmed to NBC News.
“What’s particularly heinous about this is that this grooming led up to our suspect asking these children to perform sexual acts on their siblings, other relatives and other kids that they know and film it and then send that video to our suspect,” Grassmann said.
The abuse is believed to have started in late 2020, according to a New York Post report.
The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department issued a map depicting the dozens of victims throughout the country who were contacted by Davis:
Demetrius Carl Davis is believed to have contacted over 100 children from across the U.S. and several other countries. – Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office
Sergeant Grassmann encouraged parents to play an active role in learning who their children communicate with online.
“Every electronic device connected to the internet is like an open window to the entire world. You have no idea who is talking to your child,” he said.
Grassmann also urged parents and caretakers everywhere to “check their children’s devices for contact with a person named Lizzy.” He further encouraged anyone who discovers “anything suspicious” to contact the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office via 916-874-3002 or ICAC@sacsheriff.com.
Kelly Litvak is the executive director of Childproof America, a non-profit organization working to empower families in the battle against sex trafficking. According to Childproof America’s website, their mission is to educate, equip, and empower America’s parents in the protection and defense of their children, and improve the quality of aid to impacted families.
In an interview with ABC 13, Litvak said sexual predator cases have been on the rise during the pandemic.
“A lot of kids were online doing schooling at that point and we know predators pray where kids play,” she said.
Litvak outlined specific warning signs parents should look for that may indicate communication with an online sexual predator:
“If you see that your child’s behavior is changing, and they’re being disrespectful to you or just really distant from you,” there may be an issue, Litvak explained.
Litvak said that parents are encouraged to have difficult conversations with their children over online activity. “If something is discovered, don’t be embarrassed or delete the information. Instead, contact police,” she said to ABC 13.
According to the IWF, a United Kingdom-based organization working to identify, flag, and remove abusive content featuring children, the following online child sexual abuse material (CSAM) statistics have been confirmed:
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s geographical breakdown, the U.S. is one of the largest locations for reports of CSAM, with 716,474 reports made in 2021 (up from 494,388 in 2020).
To report an incident involving the possession, distribution, receipt, or production of CSAM or child pornography, file a claim on NCMEC’s website via www.cybertipline.com.
You may also call 1-800-843-5678 to report an instance of child sexual abuse content. Your report will be forwarded to a law enforcement agency for investigation and action.
Children are considered minors under California law. As a result, a child is never able to give consent, and any sexual act involving a minor is considered abuse. Under the law, childhood sexual abuse can entail:
California law broadly defines child sexual assault as including any sexual act, such as:
Furthermore, the following actions constitute a sex crime under California law:
Under California law, sexual exploitation of a child can also include depicting a minor in any of the aforementioned acts that are considered sexual assault. Any adult who promotes, uses, or coerces a child into participating in (or encouraging others to participate in) the following actions is committing sexual exploitation under California law:
Furthermore, the law explicitly forbids any adult from coercing a child’s guardian into allowing such sexual exploitation or assault.
If you’d like to speak with a Los Angeles child sexual abuse lawyer for a free, confidential, and no obligation consultation, contact a member of the Dordulian Law Group team today at 818-322-4056.
California childhood sexual abuse civil lawsuits may be brought in an effort to recover financial compensation for various types of losses. Depending on the circumstances of childhood sex crime, compensatory damages may be pursued and recovered through a civil claim.
Examples of some common damages that may be secured through a California child sexual abuse civil lawsuit include:
Under recent legislation known as California Assembly Bill 218 (AB 218), the statute of limitations is temporarily paused for all childhood sex crimes through the end of 2022.
In other words, any survivor of childhood sexual abuse or assault may currently file a civil claim/lawsuit seeking financial compensation until December 31, 2022. As of January 1, 2023, however, the standard statute of limitations will resume, and survivors who did not file claims will likely be left without any legal recourse.
Additionally, California AB 218 includes a treble damages award clause which gives the courts latitude to triple financial settlements or verdicts in cases where a cover-up is proven.
For example, if you are a sexual abuse survivor who was victimized through a systemic cover-up (at either an individual or institutional level), and that malfeasance was able to be proven in court, a $10 million damages award could theoretically be increased to $30 million under the AB 218 treble damages clause.
AB 218’s treble damages clause was included in the legislation in an effort to severely punish bad actors who participated in systemic cover-ups, often over the course of several decades. Cover-ups perpetrated by major organizations such as the Boy Scouts of America and Catholic Church have impacted countless innocent survivors, but AB 218 offers all victims an opportunity at justice.
For additional information on California AB 218 and how it offers survivors of childhood sexual abuse an unprecedented opportunity at justice, please visit our recent blog post.
Although children impacted by sexual abuse are currently eligible to file civil claims regardless of when a crime occurred, the statute of limitations is different for adult survivors of sexual violence.
For adult sexual assault survivors, the California statute of limitations on sex crimes allows you to file a civil claim up to 10 years after an incident. Moreover, the statute of limitations allows for a three-year window in civil claims where sexual assaults lead to the discovery of a psychological injury, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
To learn more about the California statutes of limitations on sex crimes – both civil and criminal – please visit our recent blog post.
Dordulian Law Group (DLG) is a leading California-based child sexual abuse firm representing survivors across the United States. DLG offers you a unique type of legal representation which includes a four-tiered team of professionals known as the SAJE Team.
Led by Sam Dordulian, DLG’s experienced childhood sexual abuse lawyers have helped countless survivors secure maximum financial damages awards.
Some of our recent sexual assault civil lawsuit victories include:
Our sex crime attorneys have helped victims recover more than $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts while maintaining a 98% success record.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.