Former Priest, 64, Sentenced to Life for Raping 8-year-old Boy

By Sarena McRae
The Plain Dealer

December 30, 2008

A 64-year-old Akron man was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole Tuesday for raping an 8-year-old boy in 1992.

Joseph N. Williams, a former Catholic priest and attorney, was found guilty by a Cuyahoga County jury last week on kidnaping and rape charges following a two-day trial in December.

He raped the 8-year-old in 1992 at a nursing home in Warrensville Heights, where the boy's family had gathered to visit a family member. The maximum sentence is life in prison.

Williams was a priest from 1969 to 1976 and served as a chaplain at Lorain Catholic High School. He then left the church and became a lawyer in the 1980s. He retired in 1998, prosecutor's spokesman Ryan Miday said.

The jury also learned that Williams sexually molested a 12-year-old boy beginning in 1984 in another county.


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