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Strongsville priest pleads guilty to federal sex charges

Father Robert Williams was arrested in a child porn investigation.
Father Robert Williams was arrested in a child porn investigation.((Source: WOIO))
Published: Jul. 16, 2021 at 6:44 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A Strongsville priest pleaded guilty to several sex charges in a federal courtroom Friday.

41-year-old Robert McWilliams pleaded guilty to two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, and one count each of transportation of child pornography, receipt, and distribution of visual depiction of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and possession of child pornography, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

Federal officials said McWilliams pretended to be a female on social media sites to contact minor male victims he knew from both parishes.

He then had the juvenile males send sexually explicit photographs and videos and threatened to expose embarrassing information about them if they did not send the images, according to court documents.

Additionally, McWilliams allegedly used the dating app Grinder to meet a minor male victim, whom he paid multiple times for sex.

McWilliams is scheduled to be sentenced on November 9, 2021. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison. A federal district court judge will determine the sentence after considering U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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