GREEN RIVER — Nathan Allen Davis, 44, of Green River, was sentenced to at least eight years in the Wyoming State Penitentiary for sexual exploitation of children yesterday afternoon in Third District Court.
Davis pleaded guilty to 10 counts in a case that involved the downloading of explicit and extremely graphic child pornography in the spring of 2020.
An investigation conducted by a Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation internet task force determined Davis transferred 10 pornographic images from his phone to a Google account in May 2020.
Social media platforms are required by federal law to report user accounts to the national Center for Missing and Exploited Children if they deem data to be child pornography, according to the testimony of Special Agent Dan Allison with the WDCI Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Allison said most platforms will suspend a person’s account for violating their terms of service agreements in such cases. The task force received a “cyber tip” about Davis’ activities from Google, and through various digital search warrants was able to track his general location in Green River.
The investigation also revealed Davis had two additional images and a video depicting child pornography. Davis admitted to owning the Google account and that he knew the images were “pretty graphic and bad,” Allison said.
Allison added that it’s virtually impossible to “accidentally” transfer photos from a phone to another platform because of the steps required to make that move. He also said he believed Davis knew he was under investigation because Davis destroyed the phone where the images were stored.
Davis also said during his interview that he purchased another phone and began dabbling in sites that featured child pornogrpahy. But he tried to control this activity by putting an internet app blocker on the phone and sought counseling from his church pastor and other family members.
Chief Deputy County Attorney Teresa Thybo sought 6-10 year sentences on all 10 counts with counts 1-5 and 6-10 to run consecutively. That would have placed Davis in the penitentiary for no less than 12 years for his crimes.
Thybo argued that the graphic nature of the images and the ages of the children warranted a lengthy sentence. She said some of the images showed children as young as two years old.
“The state believes based on his behavior that he is a danger to the community and that he should be removed from the community for a significant amount of time,” Thybo said.
Davis’ attorney Christina Cherni asked Judge Suzannah Robinson to reduce the state’s request to 4-6 years on each count. Cherni cited several Wyoming second-degree sexual assault convictions that carried lesser sentences.
She said her client never touched or physically assaulted anyone, but he would be treated like that if the court accepted the state’s request.
But Robinson said that even though Davis didn’t create the images, his activities create a market where children are being abused “and that makes you a perpetrator of the victimization.”
Robinson ruled to essentially split the defense and state requests and sentenced Davis to 4-6 years on the first five counts and 4-6 years on counts 6-9. Those two sentences will run consecutively so the earliest Davis could be released from prison would be 2031.
Robinson suspended count 10 and placed Davis on three years supervised probation once he’s released.
Cherni asked that language be added to the court order which would place Davis in a safe location at the penitentiary while he seeks treatment.
Thybo argued that she’s never seen a request of this nature mainly because “there is no point in it.”
Robinson agreed to put the request in the order though she did not believe it would have much bearing on where Davis will be placed.
Davis was given 172 days credit for time served and ordered to pay $2,125 in legal and court fees.