Inside look at life behind bars for Cleveland priest charged in child porn case

News

CLEVELAND (WJW)– The FOX 8 I-Team is revealing the life behind bars for a local priest arrested for child pornography. We can give you a glimpse inside the investigation.

Father Robert McWilliams is not your typical inmate. We found he’s not being held like one either.

Last week, investigators arrested McWilliams at St. Joseph Parish in Strongsville. Detectives seized phone and computer equipment tied to pornography.

The Cuyahoga County Sheriff said jailers have held McWilliams by himself.

“We don’t want someone to take the law into their own hands,” Schilling said.

He added the Cuyahoga County Jail has done the same thing with suspects in other crimes in the headlines, including former Judge Lance Mason after he was arrested for murder.

McWilliams even has a TV in his cell. No recreation time with other inmates either.

“Given the nature of the offense he’s accused of, it’s our obligation as the county jail to keep him protected,” Schilling said.

We’ve seen some inmates in high profile cases not only held away from other prisoners, but also kept under suicide watch. That involves guards keeping logs and writing down what they see on every peek in a cell. But in this case, the priest is not under a special watch.

The I-Team learned it could take weeks, even months, for investigators to go through the equipment seized. Cuyahoga County said child welfare workers have gotten referrals in two other counties.

At a brief court hearing on an initial complaint Monday morning, McWilliams told a judge he does not have the money to hire a lawyer. So the court appointed a defense attorney.

The judge also cut in half the amount of money McWilliams would have to post for bond to get out of jail. But, he’d also have to wear an ankle bracelet so the court could monitor him.

“The suspect was arrested last week by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force for possessing, receiving, as well as sending child pornography,” said Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Carl Sullivan.

Last week, the prosecutor’s office also indicated Father McWilliams is suspected of creating pornography.

As of Monday evening, McWilliams still sat in jail.

Ultimately, the case will go before a grand jury for charges.

Continuing coverage here

Around the Buckeye State

More Ohio News
FOX 8 Cleveland Weather // Quick Links:

Hot on FOX 8

More Viral