Sunday, 16 June 2024

Cobb man faces federal prosecution for allegedly luring teen to have sex

An official leads Robert Davison from his Cobb home on February 12, 2009. Davison was arrested on a federal warrant for allegedly luring a 13-year-old girl to his home. Photo courtesy of Centerville Police Department, Centerville, Utah.

COBB – A local man is in custody in Utah, where he's facing federal prosecution for allegedly attempted to lure a 13-year-old Utah girl to travel to his home and have sex with him.

Robert Laverne Davison, 40, of Cobb was in federal court in Salt Lake City on Monday for his first appearance in the case before Judge Magistrate David Nuffer. At that time Davison pleaded not guilty.

A 12-week investigation conducted by the Centerville, Utah Police Department, the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force (ICAC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations led to an indictment, issued Feb. 4, against Davison alleging the one count of coercion and enticement that took place between June 1 and Nov. 13, 2008.

If convicted, Davison faces a potential maximum penalty of life in federal prison with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence, according to the US Attorney's Office in Utah.

The investigation began last November when the Centerville Police Department was contacted regarding a missing 13-year-old girl, the agency reported.

Law enforcement found the girl at a Salt Lake City bus station the same evening as she was reported missing. Officials reported the girl was waiting to board a Greyhound bus to California. The case alleges that Davison persuaded a third party to use a credit card to purchase the bus ticket in this state.

Officials found that the girl had been in contact with a man she knew only as “Bear” – alleged to be Davison – while playing an Internet game, “World of Warcraft.” The teen and Davison allegedly began chatting through instant messaging, and officials believed he convinced the girl to meet him in California.

The Centerville Police Department contacted the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force to assist in the investigation, which the FBI also joined.

Task force agents performed forensic scans on computers at the girl’s home and her cell phone. The information on the computers led investigators to believe that Davison was engaging in sexually explicit conversations and intended to have the girl travel to California for sexually related purposes.

The investigation led to the Feb. 4 indictment and a subsequent arrest warrant issued for Davison.

On Feb. 12, the FBI went to Cobb, where they arrested Davison.

Capt. James Bauman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office said sheriff's deputies assisted the FBI in the arrest and search warrant service.

During the search of Davison's house officials found two firearms, Bauman said.

Bauman said that Davison is a convicted felon and is not allowed to have firearms. He did not have information on Davison's previous conviction.

The FBI chose not to file charges against Davison for the firearms, but the sheriff's office plans to pursue it. “We have submitted a complaint to our local district attorney,” Bauman said.

Local officials have had two previous contacts with Davison, said Bauman, but neither involved him being charged with a crime. In a June of 2007 contact Davison reported being the victim of domestic violence.

Davison remained in custody in California for more than a month before being transported by the US Marshal's Office to his Utah court appearances, according to a March 17 letter to Kevin Barry, assistant US attorney for the Northern District of California, from Barry J. Portman, a federal public defender for the district.

In that letter, Portman also called attention to a large and inoperable hernia that Davison has “that could burst at any time, resulting in a life threatening situation.”

During the court appearance Monday, Judge Nuffer ruled that Davison will stay in the custody of the US Marshal's Service pending his trial due to concerns of flight risk, previous history and the discovery of the firearms. Nuffer also ordered that Davison been seen by Davis County, Utah medical staff.

U.S. Attorney for Utah Brett L. Tolman called the Davison case “another graphic reminder of the threats we continue to face in protecting our children from Internet predators.”

Davison is scheduled to go on trial June 1 before Judge Dale A. Kimball.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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