Arkansas man granted probation in Douglas County for sex with teen he met online

photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office

Devon A. Young

Story updated at 2:05 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18:

A judge has granted probation to an Arkansas man convicted of a sex crime involving a 15-year-old he met online.

Devon A. Young, 21, of Springdale, Ark., was sentenced Dec. 7 in Douglas County District Court. Judge James McCabria granted him an 18-month probation, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office. Should he fail on probation, Young’s underlying sentence is eight months in prison with a year of post-release supervision.

Young has a probation condition prohibiting him from using the internet, except for school, because his initial contact with the victim was made through social media, according to Dorothy Kliem, trial assistant with the DA’s office. Young will not be required to register as a sex offender, because his conviction is not a crime that requires registration, Kliem said.

In October, Young pleaded guilty to unlawful voluntary sexual relations, for voluntary sexual intercourse with a person between 14 and 16 years old, Kliem said. The crime is a felony.

When the crime occurred, in August, Young was 20 and the girl was 15.

Prior to his plea, Young was charged with aggravated indecent liberties with a child and criminal sodomy, both felonies. Court records indicate he was initially held on $100,000 bond, but that was lowered and he was released on a $25,000 own-recognizance bond after his plea, with orders not to contact the victim.

The Journal-World was unable to obtain additional details about the allegations.

After Young was charged, McCabria denied the newspaper’s request for the police affidavit in support of his arrest, writing that releasing the information would “jeopardize the physical, mental or emotional safety or well-being of the alleged victim, being a child under the age of sixteen.” Eudora Police investigated the case, but Eudora Police Chief Wes Lovett declined to release details because the case involved a juvenile.

Kliem said she did not have information about where Young attends school now. However, before the crime, he was a student-athlete at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo.

Young was on Avila’s track and cross-country teams during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years, said Darren Roubinek, senior director of marketing and communications for Avila. Roubinek said Young’s last semester enrolled at Avila was this spring, prior to the crime in Douglas County.

Young was listed on Avila’s cross-country roster for the fall 2018 season, but Roubinek said he never enrolled for this fall and that the school had not updated its website.

Contact Journal-World public safety reporter Sara Shepherd