Date farmer charged in Claremont assault has long criminal past

Joseph Chandler Davall, the man arrested and charged with the rape of a 12-year-old Claremont girl, is no stranger to law enforcement or the California legal system.

According to court records obtained by the COURIER, the 34-year-old date farmer has a history of criminal behavior spanning almost two decades and covering at least four counties throughout the state.

In addition to the seven felony counts in Los Angeles County, Mr. Davall has previously been charged with various other crimes in San Bernardino County, Riverside County and Ventura County. Those charges include but are not limited to: assault with intent to rape, public intoxication, indecent exposure, grand theft as well as reckless driving and other traffic-related offenses. A tally of Mr. Davall’s criminal cases total 20 or more in just 15 years, beginning at the age of 18 when he plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

He’s been in and out of jail and on probation for much of his adult life.

In January 2013, Mr. Davall was arrested and charged with misdemeanor indecent exposure in Ventura County. The Yucca Valley resident posted $10,000 and was freed on bail. The case is scheduled for trial in May, however, his attorney Rodney Soda says he expects the judge will issue a warrant for his client for non-appearance and will continue the trial date given that Mr. Davall remains in custody for the Claremont assault.

In October 2012, Mr. Davall was charged with assault with intent to rape, assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment and burglary for allegedly breaking into a nude-optional resort in Desert Hot Springs and assaulting a woman with a flashlight. According to court records, Mr. Davall is set to stand trial in Riverside County on those charges, although a mandatory settlement conference has been scheduled for Monday.

A little over a year later in September 2013, Mr. Davall was arrested and charged by the Riverside County District Attorney for public intoxication to which he entered a plea of not guilty. This case is also scheduled for a mandatory settlement conference on May 5.

Mr. Davall has previously been convicted of making criminal threats, grand theft and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Despite his history of arrests and convictions, Mr. Davall’s family members are shocked by the latest charges against him. According to Calvin Lott, Mr. Davall’s cousin and business partner, those closest to him are still trying to wrap their heads around it.

“Nobody can believe it. He’s a generous guy, always wanting to help when he could. It’s just unreal.”

Mr. Lott tells the COURIER that although their business, Dates by Davall, used to sell their wares at the Claremont Farmer’s Market, their contract expired several years ago and they haven’t been in Claremont since.

“I’ve no idea what Joseph was doing in Claremont,” says Mr. Lott. “As far as I know, he doesn’t have any business there.”

Although Mr. Davall is registered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture as a Certified Producer in the Certified Farmers Market Program, Mr. Lott claims his cousin works onsite in Coachella Valley and hasn’t attended a farmer’s market in quite some time.

“He mostly works managing the markets now. Sometimes he’ll work in the grove, but he doesn’t go to any of the farmer’s markets anymore. He hasn’t done that in a while,” he says, adding “We’ve got vendors who sell our dates at markets in counties all over the state.”

The good news is Claremont residents can rest a bit easier knowing Mr. Davall remains behind bars, held on $5 million bail.

As the COURIER previously reported, the accused rapist was taken into custody at his Yucca Valley home on April 18 after a short pursuit involving Claremont police and the San Bernardino Sheriff. Police previously confirmed evidence relating to the Claremont crime was found at Mr. Davall’s residence. The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office confirmed authorities linked the date farmer to the Claremont attack through the Combined DNA Index System.

As reported, the 12-year-old Claremont victim was home alone on the night of the attack, raising questions about the whereabouts of her parents. Sources tell the COURIER that the girl lives with her single father and younger brother. Many people speculated that the parents had been at work when the girl was attacked. We’re told that is not the case. The victim’s father and her younger sibling were both away from the residence—although they were not together—when the crime occurred.

Surprisingly, California does not have an age requirement to leave a child home alone. The National SAFE KIDS Campaign states that no child under the age of 12 should be left home alone although each state has a different law. Even though a state may view a 12-year-old as old enough to be home alone, each parent must decide what’s right for their child. Many factors may go into this important decision such as the neighborhood, maturity of the child and the length of time he or she will be home alone.

For more information on the California law, visit:

While the victim deals with the trauma inflicted upon her and Mr. Davall remains behind bars, Claremont police continue their investigation to see if other cases could be tied to the accused. “Right now, it’s still an open investigation,” says Det. James Hughes. “We’re reaching out to other agencies nationwide to investigate the possibility of more victims.”

No other details are being released at this time.

Unlike many of his previous arrests, Mr. Davall has been unable to post bail and remains in custody in Men’s Central Jail. If convicted as charged, the accused faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole. He is scheduled for arraignment on May 14.

The COURIER will follow up on his court case.

—Angela Bailey


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