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Press Release

Former DeSales University Priest Indicted on Child Pornography Offenses

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A former DeSales University priest was charged by indictment with three counts of child pornography offenses.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia made the announcement.

William McCandless, 56, of Wilmington, Delaware, was charged with possessing child pornography for importation into the Unites States, transporting child pornography in interstate and foreign commerce, and attempting to access with intent to view child pornography.

During his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Henry S. Perkin, the defendant was arraigned on the pending charges and ordered to be placed on home confinement, to submit to electronic monitoring and to surrender his passport because he frequently traveled overseas and has numerous contacts abroad.

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims.  For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit

The case was investigated by HSI and is being prosecuted by CEOS Trial Attorney Ralph Paradiso and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sherri A. Stephan.

An indictment, information, or criminal complaint is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice.  Learn more about the history of our agency at

Updated December 3, 2020

Project Safe Childhood
Press Release Number: 20-1314