Tampa city employee accused of soliciting minors

Posted at 1:32 PM, Apr 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-15 23:21:16-04

A Tampa Recreation Leader, employed by the City of Tampa, was arrested and charged last night, accused of soliciting at least three minors for digital images of themselves naked.

Tampa Police say Davarius Durham, 27, offered victims as young as 15 years old for nude pictures in exchange for $70.

An investigation into one incident led detectives to two additional victims.

Police say they don't believe any of the teens actually sent Durham photos.

One of Durham's co-workers tipped police off after "hearing rumors," say authorities.

Calls and messages left for the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department were not returned to ABC Action News, but the HR Department for the city says that Durham was first employed as a part time "Recreation Leader" on February 7, 2011. Durham was promoted to "part-time Gymnastics Instructor" in 2014. Later in 2014, Durham was promoted to full-time as a "Recreation Leader" and was one of four Rec Leaders who worked in the city's after-school program, providing help for students with homework, leading students in games indoor and outdoor, and leading students in arts & crafts activities.

In addition to his position with the city, Durham was a coach for a local youth football team. The Presidents of that Tampa Bay Youth Football League, Scott Levinson, tells ABC Action News that Tampa Police never reached out to his organization during their investigation, which began weeks before Durham's arrest.

"To us, once we ran his background [check] and it came back clean, we thought we had a good volunteer," Levinson tells ABC Action News.

"And having the endorsement of the city, he's a city employee, I'm sure they do backgrounds," adds Levinson.

Durham volunteered with TBYFL since 2014, and before that, was a youth football league coach with the Unity Football League in the Tampa Bay Area.

Durham's online social media accounts show he is a former University of Florida student who recently took classes at the Hillsborough Community College.


For the city of Tampa, Durham was recently assigned to work at Williams Park. Students from James Elementary, Williams IB, and Walton Academy attend the afternoon program at that park, according to the city's HR department. 

Before working at Williams Park, Durham was assigned by the city to work at Jackson Heights. Students from Oak Park Elementary, Walton Academy, Potter Elementary, James Elementary, Middleton High School, Ferrell Middle School, and Franklin Middle Magnet School attended the after school programs there.

In all, city records show that Durham likely interacted with students as old as 18 but as young as 6 years old.


Head coach of the Tampa Bay Jaguars youth football team Gerald Scott called the charges "shocking" and "disturbing." He repeated again and again how disappointing the accusations were, especially considering how closely Durham worked with children in the Tampa area. 

Parents of the victims have been notified, per standard procedure, and were very upset, say Police.


According to the Police report, Durham fled Tampa last week, but he was eventually arrested in the Miami area at a family member's home. A U.S. Marshals Task Force went to the Miami area to bring Durham back to face charges on Thursday night.

Durham now has a bond of $150,000 according to court records.

Police said they would now begin looking for additional victims. Contact TPD if you have any information surrounding this case.