Former priest to plead guilty in child porn case

Ohio

Editor’s Note: The video above is previous coverage on this story.

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) – Former priest Robert McWilliams, 40, has filed an intent to enter a guilty plea without a plea agreement.

The Strongsville priest was indicted on 8 counts following his arrest in December of 2019.

The charges include:

  • (Count 1) Sex trafficking of a minor
  • (Count 2) Sex trafficking of a minor
  • (Count 3) Sexual exploitation of children
  • (Count 4) Sexual exploitation of children
  • (Count 5) Sexual exploitation of children
  • (Count 6) Transportation of child pornography
  • (Count 7) Receipt and distribution of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct
  • (Count 8) Possession of child pornography

Click here to read the full indictment

The indictment states that McWilliams solicited a minor to engage in a “commercial sex act.”

That’s dated March of 2018 through October of 2019.

The second charge refers to a minor under the age of 14.

The indictment says McWilliams also solicited the child to engage in a commercial sex act.

This case is listed from March of 2018 through January of 2019.

At least 5 minor victims are outlined in the indictment.

Prosecutors say McWilliams pretended to be a female online and would reach out to make contact with minor male victims.

Allegedly, he knew some of the victims because he served as a priest in parishes where these children and their families were affiliated.

McWilliams allegedly enticed the minors to send sexually explicit photos and videos.

McWilliams is alleged to have threatened to send the photos to family and friends of the victims if they did not send him more.

The date for the plea proceeding has not been set. The intent to plea document was filed Thursday, July 1.

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