Prescott AZ (July 17, 2021) – On Thursday, July 15, a Yavapai County Jury found Joel Frederick Deems, 51, of Cottonwood, guilty of 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, 10 counts of Voyeurism, and 10 counts of Surreptitious Viewing. After Deems failed to appear for his trial, the case was tried in his absence.
The case stems from a report by the victim’s parents to the Clarkdale Police Department on December 18, 2016, after they discovered hidden cameras in their children’s bathroom. Deems had been renting a room from the parents for six months. Upon examination, the officers found two cameras in the bathroom that were disguised behind a mirror and some artwork. The artwork in the bathroom had been placed there by Deems “for the girls.” One camera was directed towards the toilet and the other towards the shower.
The cameras were connected to cables that led in and out of Deems’s bedroom and then to his van parked outside the residence. The cables were connected to a DVR recording device that also had a monitor hooked up to it. During a search warrant of Deems’s 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’s cell phone and laptop. A subsequent forensic examination revealed numerous sexually exploitive images of children less than 15 years of age.
Joel Frederick Deems, who failed to appear for his trial, is facing a minimum of 100 years in the Arizona State Prison. After the jury’s verdict, Judge Debra R. Phelan issued a nationwide non-bondable warrant for his arrest. Deems is a white male, 5’11” tall, approximately 185 lbs. with brown hair and blue eyes. If you see this person or know of their whereabouts, please call and report to your local law enforcement agency or to Yavapai Silent Witness at 1-800-932-3232.
“Cases such as this shock the conscience,” stated Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk. “I commend the Clarkdale Police Department and deputy county attorney Casi Harris for their outstanding work on the investigation and prosecution.”