A retired Jacksonville police officer faces life in prison after pleading guilty to the commercial trafficking of videos of a Texas child when she was 3 and 4, according to the U.S. District Court.
A 61-year-old former Jacksonville police officer was sentenced to life in prison for the commercial sex trafficking of a child, which began when the child was 3 years old, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Michael Eugene Williams must also pay $194,905 to the victim, who is still a child, and forfeit electronic equipment used in the sex trafficking, including a cellular telephone, electronic tablet and internet router, prosecutors said. Williams pleaded guilty June 5 to the offense, the U.S. Attorney said.
The investigation into Williams, not related to Sheriff Mike Williams, began after a Sheriff’s Office detective received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, according to the plea agreement. Armed with a search warrant, police went through Williams’ mobile home on Normandy Boulevard and seized his cellphone and computer tablet, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
At least 450 images and videos of child pornography were found on the cellphone, along with an explicit 18-second video of a young naked girl, the plea agreement said. More investigation revealed a message containing a four-second video of a naked girl engaged in obscene behavior, as well as a text message conversation with someone asking “Can you get a longer video of her,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Further investigation tracked the text to a Texas woman producing pornographic images of her young daughter and texting them in exchange for money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. Investigators learned Williams asked her to shoot photos between Feb. 25 and Sept. 28, 2016 as she sexually abused her 4-year-old daughter, then sell the images to him, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He also urged the mother to film herself engaged in sexual acts with her child and have the child perform sexual acts on others, prosecutors said.
The woman told agents she texted “an estimated 50 files” to Williams for money, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Meanwhile, Williams used some of his Sheriff’s Office pension to send at least 19 Western Union wire transfers to the mother as payment, according to the plea agreement.
Arrested by Texas police on state charges, the woman pleaded guilty to two counts of production of child pornography in federal court in the Northern District of Texas and was sentenced to 60 years in prison, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Williams was hired by the Sheriff’s Office on Nov. 24, 1994, and resigned July 22, 2011, according to his personnel file. His resignation occurred as he was under police investigation for the last of 22 complaints filed against him from 1995 to 2011, this one for conduct supporting criminal acts, conduct unbecoming an officer and failure to obey an order, police said. His personnel record indicates all three were sustained.