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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Central District of Illinois

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 5, 2020

Grand Jury Charges Decatur Man with Child Sex Crimes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. –  A federal grand jury has indicted Courtney Williams, 30, of Decatur, Ill., on charges of child sexual exploitation. Specifically, the indictment charges Williams with enticement of a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of children, and sex trafficking of children, specifically a child under the age of 14, to engage in a commercial sex act.

Williams was arrested on Feb. 7, 2020, and charged by criminal complaint. Williams made his initial appearance in federal court in Urbana on Feb. 10, and was ordered detained in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.

The indictment alleges that for the time period between Jan. 17 and Jan. 25, 2020, Williams used the internet and a cell phone to entice the minor to engage in sexual activity for which a person can be charged with a criminal offense, aggravated criminal sexual abuse.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Williams portrayed himself as a 17-year-old male while communicating online with the minor girl by Snapchat and text, including the TextNow application. During these communications, Williams solicited the girl to send him sexually explicit photos and to meet him to engage in sexual activity.

The affidavit alleges that Williams picked up the minor in his vehicle on the evening of Jan. 24, 2020, and took her to his residence where he gave her drugs which caused her to lose consciousness. While the minor girl was unconscious, Williams sexually assaulted her.

If convicted, for enticement of a minor, the penalty is 10 years to life in prison; for attempted sexual exploitation of a child, the penalty  is 15 to 30 years in prison; and, for sex trafficking of children, Williams faces a penalty of 15 years to life in prison.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Elly M. Peirson in the prosecution. The charges are the result of investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations and the Decatur Police Department.

Members of the public are reminded that an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

This case is prosecuted as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide Department of Justice initiative to combat child sexual exploitation and abuse. 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 www.projectsafechildhood.gov.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Childhood
Updated March 5, 2020