A former Vinita preacher has been indicted for sexually abusing at least five minors, who were aged 7 to 16 at the time of the abuse from 2002 to 2018.

The suspect, Roy Edward Williams, 63, is facing 11 federal charges, including coercion, enticement of a minor, aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, and abusive sexual contact of a minor between 12 and 16 years old in Indian Country, according to court documents.

He has also been slapped with possession of child pornography charges after he was found in possession of the lewd material on June 24, 2019. 

The 63-year-old allegedly committed the sex crimes for nearly a decade on or around November 2002 until as late as December 2018, a period during which he was a preacher at Bunker Hill Baptist in Vinita, according to Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

According to the indictment, Williams also took sexually explicit photographs of his victims and ultimately paid or offered money or luxury items to several victims immediately following the sexual abuse, KTUL noted.

He then reportedly threatened his victims to prevent them from reporting the abuse to the police. 

Previously charged in Craig County District Court, the suspect saw charges against him dismissed in April 2021 following the 2020 landmark McGirt ruling

The U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that major crimes involving American Indian victims or perpetrators on reservation land, including Cherokee, cannot be tried by state officials. 

Williams is a Cherokee citizen and allegedly committed the crimes in or near Vinita, which is within the Cherokee Nation Reservation.

Meanwhile, the Cherokee Nation Attorney General’s Office subsequently filed tribal charges against Williams in April, which saw the man in tribal custody at the Mayes County jail awaiting trial.

The FBI, Craig County Sheriff’s Office, and the Cherokee Nation Marshal Service are now investigating the matter as prosecutors work on the case.

Authorities from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and FBI are encouraging any other victims of Williams to come forward and get in touch with the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office at (405) 290-7770.

church Former preacher, Roy Edward Williams, 63, is facing 11 federal charges, including coercion, enticement of a minor, aggravated sexual abuse of a minor, and abusive sexual contact of a minor between 12 and 16 years old in Indian Country. This is a representational image. Unsplash