Family sues New York officials for sharing murdered teen’s sex videos

By: News Desk      Published: 09:16 AM, 17 Jul, 2021
Family sues New York officials for sharing murdered teen’s sex videos
File photo.

The Oneida County District Attorney's Office in New York is being sued by the estate of Bianca Devins for allegedly sharing footage of the 17-year-old's murder with media outlets.

Devins was stabbed to death in July 2019 in Utica after returning from a concert in New York City with Brandon Clark. Clark, now 23, pleaded guilty last year to murdering the Utica teenager and posting photos of her remains online.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in the federal US court, states District Attorney Scott McNamara and his office shared video Clark had taken of the two having sex and then killing Devins with outlets such as the channel A&E, the CBS program 48 Hours and YouTube blogger Alissa Tallman, known as Antimone Layne. The suit described it as an "unconscionable dissemination of snuff and child pornography of a 17-year-old murder victim."

McNamara stated his attorneys have advised him not to discuss the lawsuit with the media. Attorney David Walsh, who is representing McNamara and Oneida County, said a response was being prepared to be submitted to the court by next Friday.

"They told me that they followed the law with respect to these FOIL requests," he said of the prosecutors. "Their review of the complaint is that it has no merit."

The lawsuit also states the district attorney's office declined to share evidence with Devins's mother, Kimberly Devins, until June 25, when she received a response to a Freedom of Information Law request she filed containing "a modest amount of redacted evidence," and did not include the video of her death.

The lawsuit claims images and videos of Devins shared is child pornography under federal law, although under New York State law the imagery would only apply to children younger than 17. The lawsuit asks for a jury trial to be held, and that the district attorney's office cease sharing any photo or video evidence of Bianca and pay compensation for legal costs, punitive damages and $150,000 per each item of evidence each time it was shared.

A hearing has been scheduled for 11 am Tuesday, July 27, at federal court in Syracuse.

Background

On July 14, 2019, as Utica's Boilermaker Road Race was about to begin, police were dispatched to Poe Street where they found Devins stabbed to death under a tarp. Clark himself was hospitalized after attempting suicide. He was arraigned at the hospital on charges of second-degree murder.

Clark eventually entered a plea deal to second-degree murder in February 2020, dropping an additional charge filed while he was in Oneida County jail of promoting prison contraband. But with his sentencing date delayed by months due to the coronavirus pandemic, Clark moved to withdraw his plea June 2. This eventually was rejected in court, and Clark was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for Devins' murder on March 16, 2021.

Devins and Clark met online and later in person around May 2019. While police would describe them as "intimate," Devin's family has repeatedly said she did not want a relationship with Clark.

Devins already had an online presence, and the images shared on social media brought widespread attention to her death. Devins' mother, Kimberly Devins, was concerned video and photos of her daughter’s death would be shared, but was promised by prosecutors it would be sealed, according to the lawsuit.

Kimberly Devins later learned from producers at 48 Hours and A&E, who were both producing documentaries on the murder, that they had received footage of Bianca Devin's death and her having sex, as well the content of her phone containing nude photos, the lawsuit states. She also found out in late June Tallman received these items as well in response to a FOIL request.