Ohio Priest Indicted On Child Porn And Juvenile Sex Trafficking Charges, Lured Boys By Pretending To Be Woman On Social Media

An Ohio priest has been indicted on charges of child pornography and juvenile sex trafficking.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, Robert D. McWilliams, 40, was charged with sex trafficking of a minor, sexual exploitation of children, and transportation of child pornography, among other charges. CNN reports that McWilliams would lure in his male victims by pretending to be a woman on social media.

“Posing as a female, McWilliams allegedly enticed the minor male victims to send sexually explicit photographs and videos, sometimes threatening to expose embarrassing information McWilliams already knew about the victims if they did not send such images,” according to the news release, obtained by CNN. “At times, McWilliams is alleged to have threatened to send those photographs to family and friends if the minor male victims did not send additional photographs and videos,” the news release said.

The outlet reports that McWilliams did actually follow through with threatening the children’s families by “sending the mothers sexually explicit photographs he received from minor male victims,” the press release states. The U.S. Attorney’s Office claims that the pedophile met his victims while working his job as a priest in parishes. The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said it “was made aware” of the indictment on Thursday.

“We are grateful to those in law enforcement who have worked diligently to investigate this matter. As the criminal case against McWilliams proceeds, let us continue to pray for justice to be served and healing for those who have been harmed by sexual abuse,” said the diocese in a statement. McWilliams was arrested back in December 2019 after he was found with child pornography, and he was “immediately” placed on administrative leave after the diocese learned about his arrest.

“Please know that we stand ready to cooperate with law enforcement in this matter. I am deeply committed, as the shepherd of our diocese, to the safety and well-being of our children,” Bishop Nelson Perez said at the time of McWilliams’ arrest.

Ohio Priest

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