Crime & Justice

FBI, police seek information on additional victims of accused ex-USC professor Walter Williams

Federal authorities believe Walter Lee Williams, a former University of Southern California professor who has been accused of sex crimes, may have more victims.
Federal authorities believe Walter Lee Williams, a former University of Southern California professor who has been accused of sex crimes, may have more victims.
Federal Bureau of Investigation

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Update 6:31 p.m.: FBI, police seek additional victims

At a news conference Wednesday, the FBI and Los Angeles police said they're seeking additional victims of former professor Walter Lee Williams, 64, who was arrested in Mexico Tuesday on charges of the sexual exploitation of children.

Authorities said they don't believe there are any victims in Los Angeles and that no crimes were committed on the USC campus, but they think there are more victims elsewhere.

"We believe there are other victims who have suffered from this man's action and we need to talk to them," said LAPD Assistant Chief  Michel Moore. 

Read the indictment below.

Moore said an adult student contacted police two years ago with suspicions that Williams had been abusing boys. It was based on internet conversations the student had with the former professor.

Williams was arrested Tuesday night after a Mexican citizen saw his photo in a local newspaper.

Mexican police in Quintana Roo collaborated with the FBI to stage a ruse that lured Williams to a local coffee shop in an area where authorities believe he had been living under a false name.

NPR's Carrie Kahn reported the indictment against Williams alleges he used his position as a professor of gender and sexuality studies to travel internationally and prey on underage boys.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Williams traveled to the Philippines in January 2011 to engage in sex acts with two 14-year-old boys he met online in 2010. FBI investigators interviewed Williams in February 2011 at LAX when arrived from a trip to the Philippines. Two computers and a camera were confiscated. An FBI spokesperson said Williams left approximately one week later.

"I analyzed the computers and the camera that belong to Williams and found child pornography," Jeff Yesensky, FBI special agent, said in a video posted online Monday to bring awareness to the case.

"Because of his status, he has the means and access to children, and that's what makes him dangerous," Yesensky said. "He preys on the most vulnerable children."

Update 3:49 p.m.: Accused ex-USC professor may have more victims

Federal authorities believe a former University of Southern California professor who's accused of sex crimes involving two children has more victims.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said Wednesday that evidence indicates that 64-year-old Walter Lee Williams is believed to have at least 10 alleged victims in addition to the 14-year-old boys cited in a federal indictment.

Williams was arrested by Mexican authorities late Tuesday in the resort city of Playa del Carmen.

He's wanted on charges of sexual exploitation of children and traveling abroad to engage in sexual acts with children.

Eimiller says authorities have not ruled out additional charges in the case as evidence shows Williams expressed an interest and pursued victims younger than 14 years old.

Federal authorities are working with Mexican officials to have Williams returned to the United States.

Read the indictment filed against former USC professor Walter Lee Williams.