Quincy man receives six-year prison term after agreeing to guilty plea for child pornography

Cooper Davis copy

Cooper Davis | Photo courtesy of Adams County Jail

QUINCY — A Quincy man was sentenced Monday afternoon to six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a charge of child pornography.

Cooper Davis, 24, appeared in Adams County Circuit Court with Public Defender Mark Taylor before Judge Charles H.W. Burch. 

According to court documents, Davis agreed to plead guilty to a charge of child pornography (possession of photo of a victim under the age of 13), a Class 2 felony. Had he been found guilty by a jury of that offense, he would have faced between three and six years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Davis is eligible for day-for-day credit. He was credited with having served 280 days in the Adams County Jail.

As part of the plea agreement, two Class 2 felony charges against Davis for child pornography — one for possession of a photo of a victim under the age of 13, and one for possession of a video of a victim under the age of 13 — were dismissed. 

During his announcement of the sentence, Burch said the photo in Davis’ possession showed a female, between the age of 8 and 10 years old, standing mostly nude, only wearing thigh-high leggings, and BDSM gear. BDSM is a term for a variety of sexual practices that include bondage, discipline, dominance, submission and sadism.

The child had a ball gag in her mouth and was blindfolded. She was wearing a leather collar with a leash attached, and she also had leather shackles around her wrists and ankles. Her bare breasts and pubic area were exposed to the camera. 

“I have contemplated what would be involved in generating an image of that sort, not to say the defendant is (because) he was not the one who actually produced that,” Burch said. “But as far as what would go into doing that, or moreover, what type of individual will get any sexual gratification from that … that is quite honestly beyond me. And quite honestly, it turns my stomach just to think about it.”

Burch also noted a recommendation from the city’s probation department to sentence Davis to 48 months of probation, as well as the facts that Davis held three jobs and had nothing more than a traffic ticket on his record. 

“I would likewise agree with the assessment of the state that it would be necessary for (a sentence of probation) to be a productive exercise, (Davis) would need to be honest and be able to look at himself and acknowledge on his part what he needs to do to refrain from engaging in the same behaviors that got him here, or to address what is characterized as a porn addiction,” Burch said. 

“I would likewise tend to agree I’m somewhat skeptical in light of the information before me as to his capacity to be honest or to engage in an honest exercise in that regard.”

Assistant State’s Attorney Laura Keck said she had “significant concerns” that Davis would be a candidate to re-offend and questioned his honesty throughout the court process.

“In addition to the multiple different statements that Mr. Davis made to the police and to his mother about these offenses, that report from Dec. 19, 2023, from IDHS (the Illinois Department of Human Services) talks about the fact that they believe, in their words, ‘he either was not honest or it’s either an over-exaggeration of what happened or possible deception,” Keck said.

“The doctor from IDHS says Mr. Davis appears to develop amnesia when it is basically convenient for him to do so.”

Keck said a person who is going to be successful on probation chooses to be “honest, a person who admits what he has done and addresses those issues through honesty — which Mr. Davis has continuously not done.” She asked for Davis to receive the maximum sentence.

Taylor said Davis originally was diagnosed with dissociative disorder, then later diagnosed with bipolar disorder. 

“There were a number of things, and when you have all these things going on in your head, he didn’t know exactly what the truth was,” Taylor said. “All he knew was that this was happening, and he couldn’t explain it. … If you look at his statement, he says, ‘I am ashamed of this. I don’t know why I did it.’ When I first met this young man, the first thing he told me was, ‘I just don’t know why. I don’t even remember doing it.’”

Taylor said every medical professional involved in the case recommended probation for Davis.

“For the first time in his life, he knows what’s wrong with him,” Taylor said. “He made a mistake, and he deserves to be punished for it. He wants to be punished for it. But now, if he gets nothing out of this, he got the enlightenment of finding out what’s wrong. He could never do that before on his own.”

Davis said during his statement of allocution that he knew he had mental health issues when he committed his crime.

“I’ve come to terms with the fact that I do have a porn addiction,” he said. “I’m willing to take sex classes to help with that. I’m willing to do whatever I need to help myself become a better person in society. What I did back then, what I’m arrested on, that is not who I am now. I am a changed man from back in July when I was arrested. I am a better man than I am now than I was then. 

“I’m sorry for what I did. I understand that. There are victims in this, and I’m extremely sorry to those victims. I know I’m a messed-up individual. I am willing to get that help. I want to get that help. And frankly, I feel like I deserve that help.”

The Quincy Police Department reported an investigation started on June 21, 2023, after Snapchat flagged a user for possessing possible child abuse material. Search warrants were sent to Snapchat, and multiple images and videos of child pornography were located, most involving minors who appeared to be under 13 years of age.  

A search warrant was executed at Davis’ residence, 3421 Lawrence Road, on July 11. He was transported to the Quincy Police Department, where he was interviewed by detectives. He then was lodged in the Adams County Jail. Taylor filed a motion for Davis’ fitness, and he was transported to IDHS for evaluation.

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