Child pornographer, busted in California, had many victims

Rush Hour

CHICAGO (NewsNation) —  A major child pornography bust took place in California this week.

The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office arrested 24-year Demetrius Davis, who has been accused of abusing dozens of children.

Officials say Davis lured his victims by posing online as an 11-year-old girl named “Lizzie.”

“Screenname was Lizzy and you think just based by the name, it’s going to be a child, and come to find out it’s a 24-year-old male who’s become a predator,” Sacramento Undersheriff Jim Barnes told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Thursday. 

Detectives say Davis befriended his young victims, then groomed them by sending sexually explicit content.

“Davis would direct them to produce child pornography, depicting themselves engaging in sexual acts with their siblings and other children known to them,” said Sgt. Rod Grassman, a spokesman for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office. 

Since the start of the pandemic, the sheriff’s office says sex crimes against children have dramatically increased. Undersheriff Barnes says the crimes against children have evolved to where predators, such as Davis, have easier access to them. 

“Young people will be lured into a location, they will be lured into performing acts, a video will be produced, then it will be (distributed) amongst the population of people that watches those videos,” Davis said. 

“This was done from his very own home, on an electronic device that every person has access to,” he added.  

Law enforcement says these types of cases have increased dramatically over the past two years as lockdowns, restrictions and virtual learning during the pandemic rose, causing a drastic increase in how much time kids spend online, giving predators easier access in the process.  

In 2020, the Sacramento Valley High-tech Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received about 3,000 tips on potential crimes against children on the internet, including information on Demetrius Davis. 

In 2021, that number doubled, reaching up to 6,000 tips. 

ICAC discovered Davis victimized more than 80 kids across the U.S. and at least 15 more internationally — all of them ages of 6 to 13.

“During those times, there was a lot of opportunity for people like this and I think that is why the numbers over the past few years are staggering,” Barnes said. 

Detective Daniel Heaton said the hardest part of his job was notifying the families of the vitamins.   

“I had to break the news to them what had happened and It is heartwrenching to see the reactions from these almost 100 families and there’s more that we’re gonna have to talk to,” 

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