April 05, 2000 10:38am
Former White House worker arrested in Internet sex sting
(SAN DIEGO, CA) -- A former military communications officer who worked in the White House has been arrested as part of an Internet sex sting, officials said.
John. W. Davis of Sandpoint, Idaho, was arrested March 23 after flying to Los Angeles and driving to San Diego to meet a woman he had been corresponding with on the Internet, prosecutor Rick Clabby said in court Tuesday.
Davis, 44, believed the woman was going to allow him to have sex with her 12- and 14-year-old daughters, Clabby said.
Neither the girls nor the mother, however, actually existed. Davis had been communicating with an undercover San Diego police officer who was involved in a sting operation.
Superior Court Judge David Szumowski ordered Tuesday that Davis be held in jail in lieu of $550,000 bail.
Defense attorney Peter J. Hughes, in court documents seeking a lower bail, said that Davis retired from the U.S. Army in 1994 after serving 20 years.
Davis was formerly Director of the Emergency Actions Branch at the White House, court documents said.
"In the event of a national emergency he would have been fully responsible for the White House Communications Agency, and would have traveled with the President to a relocation center, to direct all information service requirements and base operations for the duration of the emergency," documents said. "He retired with the rank of major, and had a Top Secret clearance based on a Special Background Investigation."
Photographs attached to the court document showed a uniformed Davis shaking hands with President Clinton in 1993 and standing near President Bush in 1991.
Davis also was former director of the nation's Emergency Broadcast System, which alerted the public of emergencies until it was replaced in 1994 by the Emergency Alert System.
Davis' most recent job was as manager of security and safety for Coldwater Creek Inc., a mail-order company in Idaho.
Davis was fired March 31 when he failed to return to work for a week after heading to San Diego on vacation, a company spokesman said Tuesday.
Prosecutors said Davis had been engaged with an undercover officer in e-mail communications from Dec. 29 to March 20. Davis indicated that he wished to perform "unspeakable" sexual acts with girls, court documents said.
"He indicated (to the officer via the e-mail) it was his lifelong dream or ambition to have sex with young ladies of this age," Clabby said in court.
Authorities said Davis sent explicit photographs to the undercover officer and purchased condoms before he was arrested.
Davis, who is married and has three children, faces charges of attempting to have sex with children and distributing harmful material to a minor via the Internet. His arraignment was postponed for two weeks to allow his defense attorney time to challenge the laws that led to Davis' arrest.
If convicted, Davis faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.