Ohio Priest Indicted On Child Pornography, Juvenile Sex Trafficking Charges

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Robert D. McWilliams was arrested in December 2019 and was “immediately” placed on administrative leave by his diocese.

CNN reports that Robert D. McWilliams, a former parochial vicar in Ohio, has been indicted on charges of child pornography, child exploitation and juvenile sex trafficking charges, according to a news release from the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

  • “Posing as a female [on social media], McWilliams allegedly enticed the minor male victims to send sexually explicit photographs and videos,” the news release states.
  • The release also explains that McWilliams sometimes threatened “to expose embarrassing information McWilliams already knew about the victims if they did not send such images,” including threatening “to send those photographs to family and friends if the minor male victims did not send additional photographs and videos.”
  • McWilliams allegedly has followed through with that threat, “sending the mothers sexually explicit photographs he received from minor male victims.”
  • The United States Attorney’s Office further explains that some of the victims were minor males that McWilliams knew through his work as a priest in parishes.
  • The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland said it was “made aware” of the indictment on July 2. Its own statement read, “We are grateful to those in law enforcement who have worked diligently to investigate… 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.”
  • McWilliams was arrested in December 2019 on child pornography charges. The Diocese “immediately” placed him on administrative leave when it learned about the arrest, its press release at the time reported.

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