Crime & Justice

Updated: FBI 'Most Wanted' USC ex-professor arrested in Mexico

Walter Lee Williams, a former USC professor, was added to the FBI's Most Wanted list.
Walter Lee Williams, a former USC professor, was added to the FBI's Most Wanted list.
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Updated 9:57 p.m.: Fugitive ex-USC prof arrested in Mexico

A state prosecutor says one of the U.S. FBI's 10 most wanted fugitives has been arrested in the resort city of Playa del Carmen, the Associated Press reported.

Prosecutor Gaspar Armando Garcia Torres says Walter Lee Williams, 65, is wanted on charges of sexual exploitation of children and traveling abroad for the purpose of engaging in sexual acts with children.

Garcia said Williams was captured late Tuesday while drinking coffee near a park in the Caribbean beach town.

A federal arrest warrant was issued for Williams in Los Angeles in April, according to the FBI website.

Garcia said he didn't know how long Williams had been in Playa del Carmen.

Previously: FBI seeks former USC professor

University of Southern California officials have pledged to cooperate with an investigation involving a former professor who is now one of the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation added the 499th and 500th names to its regularly updated "Most Wanted" list on Monday, and one of them was former professor Walter Lee Williams.

Williams was a professor of anthropology, history and gender studies at USC until February 2011. He is wanted for the alleged sexual exploitation of children and traveling abroad to engage in illicit sex acts with children, according to the FBI.

USC on Tuesday issued the following statement:

"USC is fully cooperating with the FBI investigation. The FBI has informed us that at this time there is no evidence that any of his alleged illegal activities were associated with the university or took place on campus.”    

Williams has lived in Palm Springs, Calif., and has traveled extensively in the Philippines and has reportedly lived in Indonesia, Polynesia and Thailand, according to the FBI.

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to his arrest.

The other new addition to the FBI list, with the same reward, is Jose Manuel Garcia Guevara, who allegedly murdered a 26-year-old woman in the presence of her 4-year-old stepson in Lake Charles, La., in 2008.

Guevara is believed to be in Mexico.

Citizens have helped law enforcement apprehend fugitives — or find their bodies — 155 times since the "Ten Most Wanted Fugitives" program started in 1950, according to the FBI.