Ohio priest indicted on charges of child pornography, juvenile sex trafficking

by Bryan Brammer · Jul 3rd, 2020 12:40 pm
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Last Updated Jul 6th, 2020 at 12:25 pm

An Ohio Catholic priest has been indicted on child pornography, child exploitation, and juvenile sex trafficking charges, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cleveland alleged on Thursday.

Robert McWilliams, 40, posed online as a female to lure minor male victims to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves. He also threatened to expose the boys' actions if they did not send him additional images.

"Posing as a female, McWilliams allegedly enticed the minor male victims to send sexually explicit photographs and videos...," a news release read. "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."

On Wednesday, McWilliams was charged with the following crimes:

  • Two counts of sex trafficking of a minor
  • Three counts of sexual exploitation of children
  • One count of transportation of child pornography
  • One count of receiving and distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct
  • One count of possession of child pornography

The U.S. Attorney's Office said that McWilliams knew some of the victims through his work as a priest at different parishes. Prosecutors also alleged that McWilliams paid a boy he met on a social networking site for sex.


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