Cleveland Catholic Diocese priest faces judge on child porn charges, case goes to grand jury

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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WJW) - Rev. Robert McWilliams was in court Monday morning on charges related to a child pornography investigation.

McWilliams was arrested Thursday at St. Joseph Parish in Strongsville following a search associated with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Law enforcement officers seized laptops, a cell phone and an iPad.

According to a Complaint Summary with the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor's Office, he faces felony charges including illegal use of minor in nudity-oriented material, pandering sexually-oriented matter involving a minor and possessing criminal tools.

"He was sending and receiving child pornography via social media," says Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O'Malley.

The 39-year-old has been locked up since Thursday. Monday morning, the judge set his bond at $50,000 and assigned a public defender.

McWilliams said he cannot afford to hire an attorney. He'll need to wear a GPS monitor if he gets out.

This case, which began with the investigation of inappropriate text messages sent in Geauga County, now goes to a grand jury.

Continuing coverage here.

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