Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Feb 8, 2022 / 15:32 pm
Robert McWilliams, a recently-laicized former priest, died Friday, Feb. 4 in his jail cell at the federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania. He is believed to have died by suicide.
McWilliams, 41, was about three months into a life sentence for sex trafficking of youths under 18, child pornography, and sexual exploitation of children. He pled guilty to eight federal charges in July 2021, and was sentenced on Nov. 9.
He was discovered unconscious in his cell shortly after 1 a.m., and was declared dead at a nearby hospital at 2:18 a.m., authorities said. An autopsy was performed on Saturday, Feb. 5.
On Dec. 21, Pope Francis issued a decree removing McWilliams from the clerical state, as punishment for his crimes of the sexual abuse of a minor. McWilliams had previously said that he intended on resigning from the priesthood.