• Former USC Professor Due in Court; Alleged to Have Engaged in Sex Acts With Minors

    LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A former USC professor accused of flying to the Philippines to have sex with two boys he met online was due in Los Angeles federal court today following his arrest in Mexico and his return to the United States.

    Walter Lee Williams was arrested by Mexican authorities in the resort city of Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo on Tuesday — a day after he was added to the FBI’s list of its Ten Most Wanted fugitives. A picture of the newly named fugitive ran in a local newspaper,  and he was recognized by a Mexican citizen having a cup of coffee in the seaside town about 8:30 p.m. Monday, according to Bill Lewis of the FBI.

    Williams, 64, was flown to Los Angeles International Airport Wednesday night and was due to make an initial federal court appearance in downtown Los Angeles early this afternoon.

    “This was a good day in Los Angeles,” said Los Angeles Assistant police Chief Michel Moore. “Happily, this man is off the street.”

    Moore said the case began about two years ago when a Los Angeles resident concerned about the safety of children contacted authorities. Authorities believe “there are other victims who have suffered by this man’s actions,” Moore said.

    Before the arrest, the FBI received information about a possible location for Williams and asked Mexican authorities to apprehend him, said FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.

    Williams was charged in an indictment filed in Los Angeles federal court alleging one count of producing child pornography, one count of traveling for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and two counts of engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places.

    A one-time Palm Springs resident, Williams was a professor of gender and sexuality studies at USC until 2011. Under the guise of academic research, he traveled in the Philippines and elsewhere in Southeast Asia to have sex with underage boys, according to the FBI, which reported having identified 10 victims between ages 9 and 17.

    The indictment alleges Williams traveled from Los Angeles to the Philippines in January 2011 to engage in sex acts with two 14-year-old boys he met online in 2010.

    Prior to his travel, Williams allegedly engaged in sexual activity via Internet webcam sessions with these boys and expressed a desire to visit them in the Philippines to have sex. Then, while in the Philippines, he allegedly engaged in sex acts with both boys and produced sexually explicit photos of one of them.

    Williams fled Los Angeles about a week after returning from the Philippines after he was questioned by the FBI, Eimiller said.

    The FBI had offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest and conviction. Assuming he’s tried and found guilty, the reward likely will be claimed by the person who tipped off Mexican authorities.

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