CLEVELAND — An Ohio Catholic priest has been accused in a federal indictment of posing online as a female to persuade boys to send him sexually explicit photos and videos of themselves and threatening to tell their parents if they did not send more images, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Cleveland alleged Thursday.
Robert McWilliams, 40, followed through on his threats and sent some mothers images of their sons, prosecutors alleged. Some boys McWilliams targeted belonged to parishes where he served, prosecutors said.
McWilliams was indicted Wednesday on two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, three counts of sexual exploitation of children, one count of transportation of child pornography, one count of receiving and distributing depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct and one count of possession of child pornography.
Prosecutors alleged McWilliams paid a boy he met on a social networking website for sex.
A message seeking comment was left with McWilliams’ attorney on Thursday.
McWilliams was arrested in December outside Cleveland at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Strongsville, where he was parochial vicar at the parish school.