Date farmer sentenced to life without parole for assault

Joseph Chandler Davall, the Coachella Valley man convicted of attacking and raping a 12-year-old Claremont girl as she slept in her home, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

On April 10, a jury found the 35-year-old date farmer guilty of seven felony counts including two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child and one count each of forcible rape; sexual penetration by foreign object, assault to commit a felony during the commission of first-degree burglary; first-degree burglary, person present; and making criminal threats.

Dressed in a blue jumpsuit and handcuffed, Mr. Davall was escorted into the Pomona courtroom and seated at the table with public defender Mitra Donde and Deputy District Attorney Babette Huley, where he bounced in his chair until court was in session. He remained somber in his seat, with his head down, glancing back periodically to see who was in attendance at the hearing.

Members of the Claremont Police Department’s detective bureau, as well as the grandparents and father of the victim, were present in the courtroom as Judge Juan Carlos Dominguez took to the bench to begin Mr. Davall’s sentencing.

The victim’s grandfather asked to address the court, thanking the judge for his knowledge of the law and Ms. Huley for prosecuting the case. To Ms. Donde he said, “Your professionalism is honorable. You read the charges, studied the facts and in your heart I’m sure you saw no light at the end of the tunnel.”

He then turned his attention to Mr. Davall.

“You never took anyone’s advice to follow the laws. Your remaining days are in a frying pan, facing fire for eternity,” he said in open court. “We will help Jane Doe to have a pleasant life, so that the guilt and shame of the evil is not a lifelong burden for her.”

Before Judge Dominguez handed down his sentence, Mr. Davall made a futile attempt to declare a mistrial, filing a handwritten motion on notebook paper. The judge denied his request. A subsequent motion was also filed, requesting a competency hearing for his public defender. It was a last-ditch effort by Mr. Davall to get a new trial before the judge issued his sentence.

“Is your intent to hire an attorney?” the judge asked, to which Mr, Davall replied, “No.”

Judge Dominguez denied the request and proceeded with sentencing, giving the convicted rapist 11 years plus life in prison without the possibility of parole for his crimes. He’s also ordered to pay $2,000 plus 10 percent to the victim’s restitution fund and $400 to the victim’s father for relocation expenses. Mr. Davall must also submit to AIDS testing and register as a sex offender for life.

“We feel justice has been served,” Ms. Huley told the COURIER. “The hard part remains for Jane Doe. She’s left to deal with what happened to her and nobody, particularly a child, should have to go through what she did.”

On March 21, 2014, Mr. Davall broke into the Claremont home of Jane Doe and sexually assaulted the 12-year-old girl, who was in bed asleep. She continuously fought her attacker and after the assault, Mr. Davall left the home with the girl’s phone, threatening to kill her if she said anything. It wasn’t until Jane Doe was out of her home and in a car with her father that she told him about what had happened. He then took her to Claremont Police Department to report the attack.

As the COURIER previously reported, Mr. Davall was taken into custody at his Yucca Valley home on April 18, 2014 after a short pursuit involving Claremont police and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department. Evidence relating to the Claremont crime was found at Mr. Davall’s residence and law enforcement authorities linked the date farmer to the Claremont attack through the Combined DNA Index System.

Claremont police spent hundreds of hours investigating Mr. Davall’s case and showed their support to the victim’s family with their presence in court on Wednesday.

“The fruits of our labor have taken a really bad guy off the street. But the victory that we get in knowing he will never see freedom isn’t going to change the fact that this girl was victimized,” Claremont Lieutenant Mike Ciszek said. “There’s nothing we can do to take that back and it’s unfortunate.”

—Angela Bailey


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