Former Priest Dies in Prison - Robert Mcwilliams Convicted of Child Abuse Dies after a Suspected Suicide

A former Catholic Priest has died in prison in Prison. Robert Mcwilliams has died after a suspected suicide. The 41-year-old Robert Mcwilliams, former Cleveland priest, was sentenced in 2021 on child abuse charges. He died on February 4th, 2022. Coroner Dominick Adamo said Robert McWilliams died at 2:18 a.m. at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, USA.
 McWilliams was in federal prison serving a life sentence. 
His death is being investigated as a suicide. The Diocese of Cleveland released the following statement to 3News: “We learned this afternoon of the passing of Robert McWilliams. We place this and all difficult situations in the hands of God. We will continue to pray for those hurt by his actions. May God be the source of their healing.” 
 The former priest pleaded guilty in 2021 to federal charges of sex trafficking, child pornography, and exploiting children. Among the crimes committed by McWilliams involved taking the confessions he heard from a teenage boy, intimate confidences the priest then used to extort sexually explicit photos.  He also possessed tens of thousands of pornographic images, some depicting toddlers and infants, court records show. McWilliams was ordained in 2017 at served as a priest at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Strongsville. He was a seminarian at St. Helen Church in Newbury Township where he oversaw a youth program.  Two families complained to Geauga County sheriff’s deputies in 2019 after their teenage sons were extorted online for sexually explicit images of themselves. That led to a raid on St. Joseph’s rectory on Dec. 4, 2019.  
Sources: and FoxNews8

A 2021 PRESS RELEASE from the Diocese of Cleveland

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Today, with the sentencing of Robert McWilliams, let us once again, as a family of faith, offer prayers for all those impacted by his reprehensible actions and ask our loving Father to heal any and all wounds they have suffered. We also thank those in law enforcement and the judicial system who worked so hard to ensure that justice was served and that McWilliams’ wrongdoing was justly punished.

Finally, let us offer our support and thanks to all the good priests of the Diocese of Cleveland who faithfully live out their promises each day in service to God’s people. For its part, the diocese continues to actively pursue the removal of McWilliams from the clerical state.

Your Brother in Christ, +Edward C. Malesic, Bishop of Cleveland