PARMER COUNTY, Texas (KFDA) - An ex-deputy in the Texas Panhandle was sentenced to life in prison for preying on multiple children at a church and his martial art studio.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office Northern District of Texas said 26-year-old Davin Seth Waters was convicted in November 2019 for transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
“This life sentence confirms the important message that exploiting children in any form will not be tolerated,” U.S. Attorney Nealy Cox said in the news release. “While this sentence will not repair the pain and damage done to the victims, it will ensure that Mr. Waters will never have the opportunity to prey upon children of our community again.”
The sentencing lasted two hours on Thursday.
“The court heard how Mr. Waters lured minor victims into engaging in sex acts by leveraging positions of power and trust as a sheriff’s deputy, childcare volunteer, and Tae Kwon Do instructor,” the news release said. “Many of Mr. Waters’ victims that he sexually abused were ‘afraid’ of him because he was ‘big’ and thought he might ‘hurt’ them, according to court documents.”
The investigation into this case started when authorities received a report from a member at First Baptist Church Texico, New Mexico that Waters had sexually abused a child.
Waters was volunteering in the children’s ministry and admitted to unlawfully touching an 8-year-old child on multiple occasions while at the church.
At this time, Waters lived in Farwell and owned a Tae Kwon Do studio in Bovina, where he instructed many young students.
He also admitted to engaging in illicit sexual conduct at his studio with a 13-year-old and a Tae Kown Do student between the ages of nine to 10 years old.
Court documents show that Waters also drove two minors, an 11-year-old and a 10-year-old, from New Mexico to Farwell to spend the night.
At his home, he performed sexual acts on the two and also gave the 10-year-old pills to induce unconsciousness.
The investigation, conducted by the FBI’s Dallas Field Office, the Texas Rangers and Curry County Sheriff’s Office, showed that Waters sexually exploited and abused seven children in the Amarillo area.
FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno said the FBI will continue to work to ensure children are protected from abuse and exploitation.
Assistant United States Attorney Sean Taylor prosecuted the case and United States District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk handed down the sentence.
The case was also brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a Justice Department initiative designed to combat the growing number of child exploitation and abuse nationwide.