CHARLESTON, Ill. (WCIA) — Officials said a 39-year-old man was charged Monday with child sex crimes and ordered to remain in custody.
In a news release, they stated James L. Williams made his first court appearance Friday. This came after he was arrested on an indictment that charges him with sexual exploitation of children to produce sexually explicit images. Those are said to have occurred between January 2017 and November 22, 2019.
Additionally, Williams was charged with distribution and possession of child pornography.
Charleston Police said they started investigating a child pornography-related complaint in November 2019 that led them to find a local juvenile victim as well as other juvenile victims in other states. Their investigation led to them identifying Williams as a suspect and arrested on a federal arrest warrant on August 11.
Officials said Williams is accused of posing as a female minor to talk to girls as young as 10 on social media sites like Facebook and SnapChat. He would coerce them into making child pornography of themselves and then sent it to others. He is accused of extorting the girls to give him more images by threatening to share them and, on at least four occasions, did sent the images to other people.
Williams is also accused of having sexually graphic chats with other minors and talking about meeting them for sexual activity.
A trial date has been scheduled for October 13.