October 17, 2021

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Former Strongsville priest pleads guilty to all sexual intercourse crimes prices | Information

A Strongsville priest, who was a previous seminarian at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Newbury Township, has pleaded guilty to all expenses from him in federal court docket.

Robert D. McWilliams, 41, pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Courtroom for the Northern District of Ohio to two counts of sex trafficking of a minimal, 3 counts of sexual exploitation of a boy or girl, and one depend each and every of transportation of little one pornography, receipt and distribution of visible depiction of a slight engaged in sexually specific perform and possession of little one pornography.

A sentencing listening to is scheduled for Nov. 9 right before Northern District of Ohio Judge Sara Lioi. He faces a maximum sentence of existence in prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Business for the Northern District of Ohio.

McWilliams was arrested Dec. 5, 2019, at St. Joseph in Strongsville just after the Ohio World wide web Crimes Towards Kids Job Pressure raided his workplace and residing room. He was initially facing felony prices in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties, but prosecutors in both equally counties dropped their scenarios after a federal grievance was submitted Feb. 21, 2020, in federal courtroom.

From 2017-2019, McWilliams engaged in sexually explicit carry out involving minors, investigators say. McWilliams pretended to be a lady on social media programs, which he made use of to make call with minor male victims. It is alleged that some of McWilliams’ victims have been young boys he realized due to the fact he served as a priest in parishes with which these youngsters and their people ended up affiliated.

McWilliams allegedly posed as woman to entice the insignificant male victims to deliver him sexually express pictures and films, in some cases threatening to expose uncomfortable details.

McWilliams at times threatened to ship people images to relatives and pals if the slight target did not send extra photos and movies, investigators say. McWilliams adopted by way of on this danger by sending the moms sexually specific pictures he received from small male victims.

He is also accused of utilizing a social networking internet site to make make contact with with a slight male sufferer for the “purpose of participating in professional intercourse.” McWilliams allegedly satisfied the victim on various occasions and, in trade for sexual intercourse, compensated the victim for each individual act.

McWilliams was also in possession of, acquired or distributed about 1,700 photographs and films of kid pornography and around 150 files of boy or girl pornography in a Dropbox cloud storage account, in accordance to investigators.

Catholic Diocese of Cleveland officers mentioned in a assertion they are “grateful to the law enforcement companies and prosecutors for diligently in search of justice in this subject.”

“Furthermore, with the resolution of the prison fees in opposition to McWilliams, the diocese now is capable to go after the removing of McWilliams from the clerical condition,” officers stated in the statement. “They also asked for prayers for healing for all those people who have seasoned sexual abuse.”

The diocese put McWilliams on administrative depart next his December 2019 arrest. Data from the diocese show McWilliams was ordained in Could 2017.

The circumstance was investigated by the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Place of work with guidance from the Section of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations and the Ohio Internet Crimes From Children Process Force. Geauga County Prosecutor James Flaiz is an assigned Exclusive Assistant U.S. Attorney on the case.