Columbia University student and founder of the non-profit organisation “Youth to End Sexual Violence”, Joel Davis, was awarded 13 years of imprisonment after pleading guilty to child pornography and having sex with a 15-year-old boy.
Davis was found to be in possession of over 3,700 images and 330 videos of child pornography, with some of the victims as young as 12. David was also accused of using a dating app to lure a 15-year-old minor to visit him at his Manhattan apartment in June 2018, where he had a sexual encounter with him. He is also accused of recording some of his abuse and sharing it with two people, one of them being an undercover FBI agent.
Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Joel Davis has been sentenced to jail for indulging in child pornography and having sexual acts with minors.
“As he previously admitted, Joel Davis, founder of a non-profit called ‘Youth to End Sexual Violence,’ admitted to engaging in the very abhorrent behaviour he had publicly pledged to fight. Davis, who also claims to be a Nobel Prize nominee for his work with his organization, engaged in sex acts with a minor, recording them, and distributing that recording to others – including an undercover FBI agent. Sex with minors is obviously never permissible, acceptable, or justifiable, and by virtue of his non-profit work, Joel Davis was acutely aware of the irreparable harm these crimes inflict on victims. Davis will now serve a long time in federal prison, where he can no longer victimize minors,” Strauss said.
Joel had pleaded guilty on 16 January 2020. The court has sent him to prison for 156 months for luring a child to engage in illicit sexual activity, 60 months for possession of child pornography, and 60 months for distribution and receipt of child pornography, all of which will run simultaneously, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York. After his release from prison after 13 years, he will spend the next five years on ‘supervised release.’
Davis was caught by the FBI during an operation to trap child sexual abusers. Earlier he had claimed that he was a victim of sexual abuse himself, and had launched the non-profit “Youth to End Sexual Violence” to fight the issue. In 2017, he had written an op-ed on Columbia Spectator describing the psychological damage the abuse had inflicted on him. He had written that for his non-profit, he had taken a break from the Columbia University School of General Studies, where he majored in Ancient Studies. Months before his arrest, he was a featured speaker at a Columbia University Ted Talk. In 2014, he had written in Huffington Post calling for an end to sexual violence against children in conflict zones.
But he came under the FBI radar after he responded to an advertisement the officials had posted on a fetish website. He then began talking to an undercover FBI agent. He sent the officer explicit images of infants and toddlers engaged in sexual acts with adults, and told him that he was interested in children ‘0+’.
Reportedly he had told investigators that he had once tried to have sex with a 7-year-old boy but ultimately didn’t, and had once sexually assaulted a 3-year-old girl. After his arrest in 2018, Davis told the officials that he had used the Grindr app to meet a 15-year-old boy, and he had “engaged in oral sex and digital penetration”.