Cuyahoga County drops child porn charges on Strongsville priest

Strongsville priest in court for 21 child porn charges

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Strongsville priest Robert McWilliams was scheduled to have a hearing Thursday in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court; however, all charges have been dropped here, because he is now facing federal charges.

McWilliams had been indicted by a Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on 21 charges; including, one count of illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, 19 counts of pandering sexually oriented matter involving a minor and one count of sexual performance using a minor.

“It’s become overwhelming in terms of the activity he has been involved with, not just in this county, but in other counties as well,” said Carl Sullivan, Cuyahoga County prosecutor. "We thought the best course of action was to make it a federal case.

Father Robert Williams was arrested in a child porn investigation.
Father Robert Williams was arrested in a child porn investigation. (Source: WOIO)

He was charged in federal court last week with receiving or distributing child pornography, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking of a minor.

McWilliams has a hearing in federal court Thursday.

McWilliams also has a case pending before the Geauga County Grand Jury, where he is charged with one count of sexual performance using a minor.

Geauga County prosecutors said in May of 2018, McWilliams allegedly solicited materials from an underage person.

McWilliams was taken into custody on Dec. 5, 2019 at his Strongsville church, St. Joseph.

Agents with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force went to the church and searched his living and office spaces and confiscated laptops, cell phone and iPad.

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