Fr. Robert D. McWilliams

Ordained: 2017
Status: Convicted

Died: 02/4/2022
Diocese: Diocese of Cleveland OH

Working at St. Joseph’s Parish and Sts. Joseph and John School in Strongsville when arrested 12/5/19, charged with sending and receiving child pornography. Placed on administrative leave. Posed as a teen girl to get teen boys to send him nude photos. Investigators discovered in McWilliams’ possession “substantial” amounts of pornographic photos and videos of children. Pleaded not guilty 1/22/20. New charges in 2/20 included sex trafficking of a minor. Prosecutors said he paid a 15-year-old boy for sex on several occasions. Indicted 7/2/20 on federal charges of child porn and exploitation of children. Pleaded guilty in 7/21. Knew some of his victims from his assigned parishes. Sentenced in 11/21 to life in prison. On 12/21/21 the diocese announced that the Vatican had laicized McWilliams. He died 2/4/22 of suspected suicide at the Allenwood federal prison in PA. A 19-year-old man filed suit in 3/29 against the diocese, claiming McWilliams abused him for two years, from age 14.


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