October 18, 2021

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Northeast Ohio Priest Pleads Responsible to Rates of Intercourse Trafficking of a Minimal, Sexual Exploitation of a Youngster and Possession of Boy or girl Pornography | USAO-NDOH

Performing U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that Robert D. McWilliams, 41, of Strongsville, Ohio, pleaded responsible in federal court right now to two counts of intercourse trafficking of a minor, a few counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and one depend each and every of transportation of child pornography, receipt and distribution of visible depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit perform and possession of boy or girl pornography.

In accordance to courtroom documents, beginning in 2017 and continuing to 2019, McWilliams solicited sexually express images of minors on the internet and engaged in sexual functions with minimal victims in trade for alcoholic beverages and other factors of value.  McWilliams employed many bogus personas, such as a teenage lady, and quite a few social media cell purposes to call his minimal victims.  McWilliams understood some of the victims through his time in the seminary with the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland at a parish exactly where the children and their people were affiliated. 

Posing as a woman, McWilliams enticed 3 minor victims to mail sexually explicit photographs and movies, often threatening to expose embarrassing data McWilliams already understood about the victims if they did not send these types of pictures.  When some victims refused to send added pictures, McWilliams followed by means of on his threats and sent sexually explicit images to the victims’ moms.

In addition, McWilliams applied the social networking web-site Grindr.com to make get in touch with with a minimal sufferer for the purpose of engaging in industrial sexual intercourse.  McWilliams then enticed this minor sufferer to recognize a further small victim with whom McWilliams could interact in industrial sex functions.  McWilliams achieved the victims on a number of instances for the function of engaging in sexual intercourse functions in exchange for income and alcoholic beverages.

McWilliams was also in possession of an HP notebook pc and an exterior challenging push that contained hundreds of pictures and movies of little one pornography.  Further investigation unveiled McWilliams experienced a Dropbox cloud storage account the place he stored close to 150 picture and movie data files of youngster pornography.  McWilliams downloaded these picture files from the net and stored them in different folders on his pc equipment. 

McWilliams is scheduled to be sentenced on November 9, 2021 and faces a utmost sentence of lifetime in prison.  A federal district court decide will establish any sentence right after thinking about the U.S. Sentencing Recommendations and other statutory elements.

This situation was investigated by the Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office with guidance from the Section of Homeland Safety, Homeland Protection Investigations and Ohio Online Crimes Towards Children (“ICAC”) Undertaking Pressure.  James Flaiz, the Geauga County Prosecutor, is an assigned Specific Assistant U.S. Legal professional on this make any difference.  The situation is being prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan and Assistant U.S. Legal professional Carol M. Skutnik.