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A Yavapai County Jury Found A Cottonwood Man Guilty Of 30 Counts Of Sex Crimes, Even After Failing To Show For His Trial

A Cottonwood man is facing life in prison after a Yavapai County Jury found him guilty last week of ten counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, ten counts of voyeurism and ten counts of surreptitious viewing, even though he wasn’t there for the trial. Officials say 51-year-old Joel Frederick Deems failed to appear for his trial and is currently missing. The case stems from a report by the victim’s parents to Clarkdale Police in December of 2016, after they found hidden cameras in their children’s bathroom. Deems had been renting a room from the parents for six months. Two cameras were found in a bathroom, disguised as a mirror and some artwork. The artwork was put there by Deems “for the girls.” Another camera was directed toward the toilet and the other towards the shower. The cameras were connected to cables that led to his bedroom, then to his van parked outside the home. The cables were connected to a DVR that also had a monitor hooked up to it. During a search warrant of Deems’ van, police found two pairs of children’s underwear and two jars of Vaseline, one mostly empty. Police also found clothing that appeared to be for a young child, stuffed with carpet padding and a hole cut into the crotch of the pants. Police also seized Deems’ cell phone and laptop. A subsequent forensic examination revealed numerous sexually exploitive images of children less than 15 years of age. Deems is facing a minimum of 100 years in prison. Deems is a white male, five-foot-eleven inches tall, around 185 pounds with brown hair and blue eyes. If you see him, or know of his whereabouts, contact your local law enforcement agency, or Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232 or send a tip online at

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