A New York man was charged with traveling to Atlantic County, New Jersey, to have sex with a minor, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Zachary Williams 33, of New York, is charged by complaint with one count of interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct. Williams was arrested on March 13, 2021, after traveling a second time from New York to New Jersey to meet a minor. He is scheduled to appear today by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio.
According documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
In September 2020, Williams met the minor victim via Snapchat. He lied about his age, telling the victim that he was 17-years old. Williams asked the minor for nude photographs of the victim and, after receiving them, began to “sextort” the minor by threatening to send photographs to the victim’s friends and family. He ultimately convinced the victim to meet him at a hotel in Atlantic County and agreed to allow the victim to delete the photographs from Williams’ phone. On Oct. 2, 2020, Williams traveled to a hotel in Atlantic County and, two days later, engaged in sexual intercourse with the victim in his hotel room.
Williams continued to send messages threatening to expose the victim’s photographs, and when the victim would block him, he opened new social media accounts to continue to harass the victim., including “IWILLHURTYOU Iwilll_h2021,” “IWILLGETTHESWITCHBACK,” and “Makeadealormomfindsout.”
In March 2021, law enforcement officers took over the victim’s social media accounts and began communicating with Williams while posing as the victim. During those communications, Williams arranged to travel on March 13, 2021, to the same Atlantic County hotel to again have sex with the victim. Law enforcement arrested Williams as he arrived at the hotel.
Williams is charged with interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. If convicted of this offense, Williams faces a maximum of 30 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, and lifetime supervised release.
Acting U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., in Newark, and officers of the Galloway Township Police Department, under the direction of Chief Donna A. Higbee. She also thanked the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office for its assistance.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Vondra Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.