United States v. Davis, No. 19-1696 (3d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Davis answered a Craigslist.com ad, entitled “Wild child,” posted by Officer Block, who was conducting a sting operation. The ad stated that the poster was an 18-year-old woman. During their correspondence, Block posed as an eighth-grade girl, “Marisa.” They exchanged text messages for eight days. Davis showed repeated reluctance to engage in lewd conversation, expressed fear of getting caught, stated that he was gay, and claimed that he was 19; he was 30. His responses were permeated with innuendo. He addressed Marisa's virginity, plied her with compliments, asked when she was not supervised, repeatedly attempted to get her to meet, and offered her gifts. They agreed to meet and spend the day together at a water park. Marisa expressed concern about getting pregnant. Davis assured her that he would bring “protection.” Davis traveled from New York to Pennsylvania with three condoms in his pocket.
Davis was convicted of use of an interstate facility to attempt to knowingly persuade, induce, entice and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity, 18 U.S.C. 2422(b), and travel in interstate commerce with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, section 2423(b). The Third Circuit affirmed his convictions and 127-month sentence, rejecting claims of insufficient evidence and of entrapment and upholding the application of a sentencing enhancement for Davis’s misrepresentation of his age and of his sexual orientation.