ORLANDO, Fla. – A South Carolina physician was arrested Thursday for using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity. His arrest resulted from an investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Volusia County Sheriff's Office.
According to the indictment, on Oct. 11 and Oct. 12, Dr. John Francis Williams, 66, of Blythewood, S.C., used the Internet to attempt to persuade, induce and entice a minor to engage in a sexual activity. Williams allegedly communicated with the minor over the Internet from a residence in Port Orange, Fla. He also offered to bring the minor there to engage in sexual activity.
If convicted, Williams faces between 10 years and up to life in federal prison. The indictment also notifies Williams that the United States intends to forfeit a residence located at 1822 Wiley Post Trail in Port Orange.
Law enforcement identified Williams through an undercover operation called Operation Broadband. As part of the operation, law enforcement officers monitored various social networking websites to identify adults who wanted to engage in sexual activity with minors.
This investigation was also part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-347-2423 or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.
Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-843-5678.
HSI is a founding member and current chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse.