California man arrested in child porn probe involving more than 80 alleged victims

A 24-year-old California man was arrested on Tuesday by Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department as part of a child pornography probe that has led to the identification of more than 80 victims in states across the country as well as abroad, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Taken into custody and booked at the county jail was Demetrius Carl Davis, who was arrested on suspicion of committing a lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14, though he is thought to have groomed dozens of children for the purpose of creating pornographic material, as Fox News noted.

According to authorities, Davis routinely posed as a girl named “Lizzy” when communicating with youngsters between the ages of 6 to 13, ultimately persuading them to engage in sexual activity with other minors or even their own siblings in video recordings that would be sent back to him.

Davis was known to have made contact with his victims over social media, using a number of different accounts and ultimately communicating with more than 100 kids from the United States and beyond.

A search warrant was executed back in December at Davis’ home, and at that time, a number of different electronic devices were found to contain sexually explicit content.

Sgt. Rob Grassmann of the sheriff’s department explained, “[a]t that time, we did not have enough evidence to arrest him on site, but we took all those electronics. Over the last several months, we have forensically analyzed all of those and have identified 80 different victims and an additional 15 to 20 internationally, which we have not identified yet.”

Detective Daniel Heaton discussed the difficult task of informing parents that their children have been victimized in this most devastating way, saying, “It is heart wrenching to see their reactions of these almost 100 families and there’s more that we’re going to have to talk to.”

Child-focused Internet safety advocate Donna Rice Hughes suggested that there are ways parents can take an active role in thwarting tragedies such as this, stating, “Putting these software tools in place and some basic safety measures like knowing what your kids are doing and having ongoing conversations with them in a way where they feel like you’re not spying, but that you care.”

Grassmann added an ominous warning as well, noting, “Every electronic device connected to the Internet is like an open window to the entire world. You have no idea who is taking to your child.” Fortunately, for those children who found themselves talking to Davis, the process of securing justice is now well underway.