News and Press Releases

traveling carnival worker charged with failing to register as a sex offender

August 6, 2010

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a traveling carnival worker with prior convictions as a sex offender in two states has been charged in federal court with failing to register in Missouri after he absconded from state supervision in Louisiana and traveled across state lines.

William Coolridge Oser, Jr., 33, no permanent address, was charged in the U.S. District Court in Springfield on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2010, with failing to register as a sex offender. Oser was present in the state of Missouri while working for a traveling carnival. Oser was arrested in Joplin, Mo., on Aug. 3, 2010 and remains in state custody on unrelated charges pending his appearance in federal court.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Oser pleaded guilty to sexual battery in Louisiana in 1997 after being charged with aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated oral sexual battery involving a 9-year-old child and an 11-year-old child who were his relatives. He was sentenced to 10 years in the Louisiana Department of Corrections and released on parole in 2001.

In 2002, the affidavit says, Oser absconded from supervision and fled to Florida, where he began working with a small traveling carnival. In 2009, Oser pleaded guilty to lewd and lascivious battery in Florida. Oser had sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl who had snuck away from her home to meet Oser at a carnival and had sex with him in one of the carnival trailers, the affidavit says. Eight days later the victim told her mother about the incident with Oser, who she said ran the Ferris wheel at the carnival, and her mother contacted the local sheriff’s department.

Oser was found to be a predatory sex offender and sentenced to five years of sex offender probation by the District Court of Collier County, Fla., in March 2009. Oser was released to return to Louisiana to serve his probation. Among the requirements of Oser’s probation is to register as a sex offender twice each year and to update his registration every 90 days for the rest of his life.

Oser absconded from supervision in Louisiana in July 2009 and remained a fugitive and unregistered up to the time of his arrest in Joplin on Aug. 3, 2010. According to the affidavit, Oser has never registered as a sex offender in the state of Missouri.

Phillips cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charge must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.

This case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by the U.S. Marshals Service’s Southern Missouri Fugitive Task Force.

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