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Crime & Courts

Motivational speaker to Alaska students suspected of sexual abuse of a minor, Anchorage police say

  • Author: Morgan Krakow
  • Updated: February 13, 2020
  • Published February 13, 2020

A man who was a motivational speaker to kids around the state, including Anchorage School District students, was arrested after police received reports that he may be in a sexual relationship with a minor, authorities said Thursday.

Donteh Devoe (Photo provided by APD)

Donteh M. DeVoe, 40, was arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a minor and possession of child pornography, the Anchorage Police Department said in an online alert Thursday.

Police said it’s possible there could be more victims given the amount of contact DeVoe had with young people. For “the last several years,” DeVoe had traveled around the state as a contract speaker and mentor, according to police.

DeVoe had frequently told his story of overcoming a past of crime and incarceration in motivational speaker gigs to audiences around Alaska and beyond, appearing everywhere from village schools to a conference for Alaska school principals to a Christian school in Montana.

It’s not yet clear what kind of access DeVoe would have had to minors during his speaking gigs at schools.

The Anchorage School District released a statement Thursday afternoon confirming that DeVoe had “spoken to multiple groups of students, faculty and administrators at ASD as a motivational speaker.”

He is not employed by the district, according to the statement.

Alan Brown, director of communications at the district, said that he could not confirm any more details about DeVoe’s interactions with the school district due to the ongoing police investigation. He could not say what schools DeVoe worked with or how long DeVoe was working with the district.

He was taken to the Anchorage jail after being arrested late Thursday morning.

Police asked anyone with information about this investigation to call a Special Victims Unit detective at 907-729-7680.