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Police: Baby-sitter may have raped local children in Ohio, W.Va.
Updated: Wednesday, November 20 2013, 04:48 PM EST
By: Crissy Clutter and NEWS9
BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio --
A Bellaire man is in jail on allegations he raped children as young as 4 years old in at least two states.
Alex Joseph Davtovich, 27, is currently in the Columbiana County Jail facing child pornography charges there. In Belmont County, Davtovich is facing charges of rape and gross sexual imposition.
Officials at the Belmont County Sheriff's Office said they believe Davtovich is responsible for sex crimes against at least two children from Bellaire, one of whom was 4. Police said Davtovich is believed to have baby-sat the children.
Davtovich is also facing charges for crimes against young children in Columbiana County.
According to officials with the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Davtovich is suspected of sexually abusing other children throughout Ohio and possibly in West Virginia, as he was known to have spent time in Hancock County.
Officials said they found child pornography when they searched his home in October. Police said they matched the pictures to the alleged child victims and were able to locate the children.
"Our investigative unit works closely with Children's Services, Harmony House here -- a lot of talking to the children, a lot of intense work. It's hard on them because you are constantly seeing victims of a young age," Belmont County Sheriff Dave Lucas said.
Lucas is also urging other possible victims to come forward and receive help. The sheriff said if anyone knows someone for whom Davtovich may have baby-sat or believe someone is an alleged victim, to contact police immediately.
He said Davtovich also sometimes wore glasses, which altered his appearance slightly.
Davtovich will be extradited to Belmont County after he faces his charges in Columbiana County.
Stay with NEWS9 and WTOV9.com for continuing coverage.
WEB EXTRA: Unedited News Release From Ohio Attorney General's Office
Child Pornography Investigation Leads to Rape Charges
(ST. CLAIRSVILLE, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas announced today that a man already facing child pornography charges in Columbiana County is now facing charges of rape and gross sexual imposition in Belmont County.
Alex Davtovich, 27, is charged in Belmont County with two counts of rape and one count of gross sexual imposition in connection with the assault of two children, including a four-year-old.
The crimes happened while Davtovich, who previously resided in Bellaire, was babysitting the children of an acquaintance between October 2012 and March 2013.
"We are urging anyone whose children may have had contact with this defendant to talk with their children, because we do have reason to believe that other children may have been sexually assaulted by this suspect," said Attorney General DeWine.
Detectives with the Belmont County Sheriff's Office began investigating Davtovich, who currently lives in Columbiana County's St. Clair Township, after an investigation by the Attorney General's Crimes Against Children Unit and St. Clair Township Police Department found Davtovich in possession of alleged child pornography. The suspect was charged with pandering sexually oriented material involving a minor after authorities served a search warrant at his home last month.
Upon further investigation, agents learned of the alleged sexual assaults in Belmont County and turned over the information to local authorities. Belmont County detectives, working with case workers from the Belmont County Department of Children's Services, were able to identify and locate the juveniles.
"This is another proven case of how good working relationships at the state and local level can bring justice in several jurisdictions," said Sheriff Lucas.
"We are grateful for the work of the Crimes Against Children Unit to uncover the fact that this individual was living in our community so that we were able to arrest him and remove him from the streets," said St. Clair Township Police Chief Donald Hyatt.
Davtovich is currently in custody at the Columbiana County Jail. He was also known to spend time in Hancock County, West Virginia.
Anyone with information regarding Alex Davtovich should contact the their local law enforcement agency or the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 855-BCI-OHIO (855-224-6446). The FBI also assisted with the investigation.
Attorney General DeWine formed the Crimes Against Children Unit, which is part of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation, in an effort to focus on investigating perpetrators who victimize children. Since 2012, agents with the Attorney General's Crimes Against Children Unit have opened more than 230 investigations in counties across the state.