Advocate Against Sexual Abuse Pleads Guilty To Sex With A 15-Year-Old

Joel Davis, who had started an organization as a teen to combat sexual abuse in children, texted an undercover officer he was interested in children "0+" and had "[n]o limits."

A New York man was once an outspoken advocate against child sexual violence — but he’s now behind bars for having sex with a 15-year-old boy and possessing child pornography of children under the age of 12.

Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced Thursday that 24-year-old Joel Davis pled guilty to enticing a child to engage in illegal sexual activity, possessing child pornography, and distribution and receipt of child pornography and could now face up to life in prison.

“As he admitted today, Joel Davis arranged to meet a 15-year-old boy for sex, and engaged in illegal sexual activity with the 15-year-old,” Berman said in a statement announcing the plea. “He also possessed child pornography that included children under the age of 12. Davis rightly faces a lengthy prison sentence for victimizing children.”

Prosecutors said Davis used a cellphone to meet with the boy to have sex in June 2018.

Just years earlier, at the age of 19, Davis said he had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to stop child sexual violence, local station WBBH-TV reported in 2015.

Davis had started his own group called “Youth to End Sexual Violence” and had even done work for the United Nations alongside Angelina Jolie.

“In so many conflicts across the globe, children’s bodies are quickly becoming sites of violence, where rape is used to terrorize and degrade entire communities,” he once wrote in a column for The Huffington Post that argued that youth are the key to stopping sexual violence.

But ironically, even in 2015, Davis made reference to a “double-life.”

"I feel like I lead a bit of a double life, college student by day type of thing," he told WBBH-TV of his work as an advocate and college student.

He also wrote in the Columbia Daily Spectator in 2017 that he had been a victim of child sexual abuse himself.

Authorities turned their attention to Davis in 2018 after he exchanged text messages with an undercover officer, according to a release from the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York shortly after his arrest.

Davis allegedly told the officer he was “sexually interested in children of all ages,” and sent graphic sexually explicit photographs of infants and toddlers.

In one conversation, he allegedly said he had “[n]o limits” and was interested in children “0+,” according to a criminal indictment obtained by BuzzFeed in the case. Authorities said Davis claimed he had sexual experience with a boy as young as 9-months old.

After the undercover officer told Diaz he had an 8-year-old daughter, Diaz responded, “If ur legit I’d love to come down and eat her pussy.”

He also expressed interest to another undercover agent in performing sexual acts with the officer’s 9-year-old daughter and 2-year-old girl.

He repeatedly asked for the undercover officer to send naked photos of the two girls, authorities said.

Davis operated on a website frequented by those interested in sexually abusing children using the username “yngperv22,” according to the criminal indictment.

 “Having started an organization that pushed for the end of sexual violence, Davis displayed the highest degree of hypocrisy by his alleged attempts to sexually exploit multiple minors. As if this wasn’t repulsive enough, Davis allegedly possessed and distributed utterly explicit images of innocent infants and toddlers being sexually abused by adults,” FBI Assistant Director-In-Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. said in the 2018 statement from authorities.

Davis is now facing the possibility of life in prison and will be sentenced on May 7.

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