Police ‘concerned there may be more victims’ after Alaska motivational speaker arrested on child sex abuse charges
An Alaskan and ex-convict-turned-motivational-speaker who used to speak at schools across the state about how he made life changes for the better following his stint in prison is once again behind bars, accused of sexually abusing a minor.
Donteh Devoe, 40, was considered by many to be a source of inspiration for young people across Alaska after he was released from federal prison and seemingly turned his life around.
"I was a formidable drug dealer and street soldier, so to speak," Devoe told Channel 2 in 2017, "and that was my lifestyle, you know?"
But on Thursday morning, the Anchorage man was back in jail, this time facing multiple felony charges, including but not limited to the sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography.
Renee Oistand of the Anchorage Police Department said Devoe was taken into custody within an hour of officers receiving a warrant for his arrest on Thursday. He's been incarcerated at the Anchorage Jail, she said.
"For many years now, Devoe has been working as a contract motivational speaker," she said, "and a mentor for youth, statewide."
On January 29 of this year, police said, law enforcement was informed that Devoe was apparently in a sexual relationship with a minor. The teen is someone whom Devoe did not meet through his work, according to court documents provided to Channel 2 on Thursday.
Those papers also detail explicit exchanges between Devoe and the minor, many of them on record and discovered in text messages. The charging documents also include other specific information about what police believe Devoe did, but Channel 2 is not disclosing that info in order to protect the identity of the minor police say was the victim.
However, with so many presentations given to kids and teenagers, many of whom were and are local school students, law enforcement officials said they believe there may be other victims.
"If there are other victims, there could potentially be more charges," Oistad added. "(Devoe) has had access to many juveniles, and we are concerned there may be more victims."
Channel 2 reached out Thursday to multiple school districts about the incident. Officials with the Anchorage School District, one for which Devoe has worked on multiple occasions, declined to go on camera but said in an emailed statement that, "Mr. Devoe is not an ASD employee but has spoken to multiple groups of students, faculty, and administrators at ASD as a motivational speaker."
Anyone with any information is encouraged to please contact police. You can call the Special Victims Unit at (907) 729-7680, and cite APD Case No. 20-3534.