A "sociopath" priest accused of heinously using underage boys' confessions to prey and sexually blackmail them has been sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday, Nov. 9.

Robert D. McWilliams, 41, who worked under the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland, has been sentenced on Tuesday for grave sexual abuse and child pornography charges.

McWilliams, a disgraced clergyman from St. Joseph Catholic Church in the city of Strongsville, Ohio, who also previously served as a seminarian at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Newbury Township, allegedly preyed on minor victims between 2017 and 2019, predominantly victimizing underage boys belonging to families under the churches he was associated with, Law & Crime reported.

In 2019, two families from St. Helen’s Catholic Church filed a complaint in Geauga County claiming that their minor sons were being extorted online.

However, after Geauga County investigators investigated the menacing messages sent to the children, they were traced back to McWilliams. Following this discovery, the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) executed a search warrant at McWilliams’ St. Joseph living quarters and reportedly found sexually explicit images of the minor victims whose parents lodged the complaint. Videos of children as young as toddlers being raped and evidence showing that McWilliams also paid teenage boys for sex were also recovered from the residence.

A “disturbing” child pornography collection of over 1,000 videos and images was also discovered in the priest's possession, FOX 8 reported.

McWilliams reportedly posed as a teenage girl online to lure male victims via social media. He alleged established contact with the underage victims before proceeding to blackmail the boys and threatening to expose them unless they continued to send more nude photos and videos.

McWilliams has also been accused of using information he got from the church confessions of the victims to extort and sexually abuse the minor boys in exchange for alcohol and material objects.

The prosecutors wanted McWilliams to spend no less than 40 years in prison for what he did and made clear that he should spend the rest of his life behind bars.

“He was cunning, calculating, and extremely cruel,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memo.

McWilliams apologized in court during his sentencing and said that he was “ashamed and sorrowful for his actions and sins,” claiming that he longs for the days where he can receive the sacraments again.

McWilliams received the life sentence for two counts of sex trafficking of a minor, 30 years for three counts of sexual exploitation of children, and 20 years for transportation of child pornography, possession of child pornography, and receipt and distribution of visual content featuring minors engaging in sexual activities.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Catholic Diocese said that they are working on formally ousting McWilliams as a priest.

A flashy Brooklyn bishop was robbed of $1 million in jewelry in the middle of his live-streamed service in his East Flatbush church, the Leaders of Tomorrow Brooklyn campus, on Sunday, July 24. This is a representational image. Pixabay

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