FORMER CAMERON HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER PLEADS GUILTY TO USING HIDDEN CAMERA TO PRODUCE CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 FACES AT LEAST 15 YEARS FOR SECRET RECORDINGS

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A former Cameron, Missouri, high school teacher pleaded guilty in federal court today to secretly recording pornographic videos of a teenage victim in his bathroom, and admitted to secretly recording pornographic videos of two other teenage victims.

William Derek Williams, 39, of Cameron, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to producing child pornography. Williams formerly was a high school language arts teacher and more recently a part-time high school multimedia teacher at the time of the alleged offense.

During his guilty plea, Williams admitted that he secretly filmed three different victims over a five-year period from January 2013 to September 2018 while they were in the basement bathroom of his residence. A then-15-year-old victim discovered a hidden camera, designed to look like a cell phone charger plug, on Sept. 6, 2018. The victim opened the device and retrieved a micro SD card, which he inserted into his cell phone in order to view its contents. The card included a secretly-recorded video of the victim.

The child victim turned the device over to investigators. On Sept. 8, 2018, investigators with the Clinton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Williams’s residence and seized a laptop computer and an SD card. Each of those devices contained pornographic videos of two more teenage victims who were secretly recorded in the basement bathroom. The laptop contained five distinct videos produced on five different days of a then-16-year-old victim. The laptop and the SD card contained several pornographic videos of a third victim who was then between 14 and 16 years old.

Under federal statutes, Williams is subject to a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in federal prison without parole, up to a sentence of 30 years in federal prison without parole. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David Luna. It was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Clinton County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department.

Project Safe Childhood

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 the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab "resources."

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