Child Sexual Exploitation Suspect Arrested in Mexico

Former USC professor had just been added to FBI’s Most Wanted list.

By City News Service

Walter Lee Williams, who is suspected of sexually preying on boys overseas and producing child pornography, was in custody in Mexico Wednesday as officials worked to arrange his transfer to the U.S. to face trial.

Just one day after being added to the FBI’s list of its Ten Most Wanted fugitives,

The former USC professor was arrested by Mexican authorities in the resort city of Playa del Carmen in the state of Quintana Roo along the Caribbean, according to reports from the area.

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

Arrangements are being made to return Williams to U.S. custody, Eimiller said, adding that details on plan to extradite him would be discussed at a news conference later that day.

Williams, 64, 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.

Williams, formerly of Palm Springs, 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.

The FBI had offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading directly to his arrest and conviction. Whether anyone would have a claim to it was not immediately clear.

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June 20, 2013  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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