News and Press Releases


MONDAY - April 20, 2009



RALEIGH - United States District Judge Terrence W. Boyle today sentenced JOHN THOMAS DAVIS, 59, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, to seven consecutive 20-year prison terms for using a child to create a series of sadistic sex abuse images in 2000 and 2001, and for receiving third party images of child sex abuse between 2005 and 2007. This was the maximum punishment permitted by law. DAVIS was further ordered to pay restitution to the victim in the amount of $480,000. DAVIS pled guilty in February to a Criminal Information filed by the United States Attorney’s Office charging him with six counts of manufacturing child pornography and one count of receipt of child pornography.

The case came to light in June, 2007, when an individual arrived at the Wake Forest Police Department reporting DAVIS had been sexually abusing her and creating child pornography in the process. The subsequent investigation revealed that the victim had been repeatedly used to make child sex abuse images when she was approximately 14 years old. The pictures included images of the victim in simulated torture, bondage, and execution scenes.

Based on this lead, a search warrant was obtained and executed at DAVIS’ residence. Investigators found a large volume of evidence, including floppy disks, printed images of child pornography, and multiple computers and camera equipment used to make the pictures. The computer evidence was submitted for forensic analysis and revealed 3,290 images of child pornography, approximately 200 floppy disks containing nude and pornographic images of the victim, and approximately 3,500 printed images of child pornography.

The victim who was abused to create DAVIS’ photographs was given the opportunity to address the Court, and spoke directly to the Court and to DAVIS about the damage his violent sexual abuse had wrought, expressing her view that DAVIS was a violent, manipulative man who could not be rehabilitated.

United States Attorney George E.B. Holding attended the proceedings and commented: “I am grateful that Judge Boyle imposed a sentence today that is commensurate with the level of sheer cruelty involved in this crime and the lifelong damage that child sexual abuse does. One hundred and forty years is not an everyday sentence, but JOHN DAVIS’ was not an everyday crime, even by the grim standards of child sex abuse cases.”

Holding also thanked the victim for her appearance at the hearing. “Our system of justice exists first and foremost for the victims of crime. There is nothing I or any other lawyer could say about this case that would live up to the impact that the victim’s appearance today was able to have. I am inspired by the courage she showed in vindicating her rights, facing her abuser and doing her part in ensuring that a measure of justice was brought to her case. I hope that this result will serve as a good first step towards her recovery.”

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

Investigation of the case was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Granville County Sheriff's Office and the Wake Forest Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jay Exum served as prosecutor for the United States, and worked with the Wake County District Attorney’s office in coordinating prosecution of the matter.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at within 48 hours of release.

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