waters

AMARILLO, Texas — A former Amarillo-area sheriff's deputy, church volunteer, and Tae Kwon Do instructor who used his various positions of power to sexually exploit and abuse children has been sentenced to life in federal prison, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Friday.

26-year-old Davin Seth Waters of Farwell, Texas, was previously convicted in November 2019 for transportation of minors with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. Waters was sentenced to life in federal prison before United States District Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk on Thursday, June 25, 2020.

During his two-hour sentencing on Thursday, the court heard how Waters had lured minor victims into engaging in sex acts by using his various positions of power and trust as a Parmer County Sheriff's Office deputy, a childcare volunteer at Frist Baptist Church in Texico, New Mexico, and as a Tae Kwon Do instructor at his studio in Bovina, Texas.

"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 federal prosecutors citing court documents.

"This life sentence confirms the important message that exploiting children in any form will not be tolerated," said U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox. "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."

"Today's life sentence demonstrates the FBI's commitment to holding sexual predators accountable for their crimes and removes a dangerous threat from our community," said FBI Dallas Special Agent in Charge Matthew J. DeSarno. "We will continue working with our partners to ensure that children are protected from abuse and exploitation."

The investigation into Waters began after a report he had sexually abused a child at his church while serving as a volunteer in the children's ministry. There, Waters had admitted to unlawfully touching an 8-year-old child on multiple occasions in his capacity as a volunteer.

Waters later admitted to engaging in illicit sexual conduct at his Tae Kwon Do studio with a 13-year-old and another student between the ages of 9- and 10-years-old.

Waters also drove two minors from New Mexico to his Farwell residence to spend the night where he performed sexual acts on the 11- and 10-year-old children. Prosecutors say he gave the 10-year-old pills to induce unconsciousness.

"Through the course of the investigation, agents determined that Mr. Waters sexually exploited and abused seven children in the greater Amarillo-area," stated federal prosecutors.

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