Former Palm Coast caregiver gets 10 years for sex with boy
BUNNELL — Nearly a year ago, Victor Williams Jr., a 43-year-old Palm Coast man, was acquitted of having sex with a 14-year-old boy in Volusia County.
Williams was in court again Friday to face the consequences of having sex with a different underage boy in Flagler County in 2018.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Williams to 10 years in prison following a three-hour hearing inside the Kim C. Hammond Justice Center.
He rendered an eight-year prison sentence followed by five years of sex offender probation for an unlawful sexual contact with a minor conviction. Perkins also sentenced Williams to two extra years in prison for a pair of drug charges, to which the defendant pleaded no contest Friday.
The judge credited Williams with the 484 days he’s served in jail awaiting trial.
The Volusia case stemmed from May 2017 allegations that Williams traveled to Ormond Beach to rendevous with a 14-year-old boy he met on a dating app. The “teen” turned out to be an undercover Volusia County sheriff’s deputy and Williams got swept up in an internet child sex sting.
He was charged with traveling to meet a minor, a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
During his January 2019 trial in that case, Williams’ attorneys told a jury he was not there for sex. They argued he met with the teen to counsel him in person about the dangers of online hookups. Williams had held several counseling jobs in the past and was a respite care provider for adults and children with behavioral needs at the time of his arrest.
The Volusia County jury found him not guilty.
Williams’ Flagler County case stemmed from a September 10, 2018 sexual encounter he had with a then-16-year-old Palm Coast boy he met on Grindr, a social networking app. Williams was still free on bail awaiting his trial in the Volusia case when the second victim’’s mother alleged that he had drugged and raped her son during a rendezvous the two had at Williams’ Palm Coast home on Big Bear Lane.
The victim said he sneaked out of his own house and visited Williams’ residence where he consumed drugs and alcohol. He claimed Williams raped him after he lost consciousness at some point.
The boy’s mother told deputies she found her son unconscious on the front porch of the family’s home the following morning.
Flagler deputies raided Williams’ home two days later and arrested him, charging him with sexual battery of a minor, possession of cocaine and possession of a controlled substance.
The victim read a 50-minute statement that he wrote detailing the anguish he said he experienced both during and after his encounter with Williams, who he called a “monster.” He said the trauma sent him spiraling into a deep depression and drug addiction that derailed his life.
“That feeling was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt in my life,” he said. “I was mad. I was sad. I was scared. I was feeling everything and nothing at the same time. All of these thoughts raced through my head like bullets shooting through the air. So yes, I did give up.”
Williams admitted to having sex with the teen but claimed he did not realize the victim was a minor. He also claimed the teen consented to the sex.
The victim said Williams failed to disclose that he had HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, before raping him. Williams denied that claim as well.
But the State Attorney’s Office later tacked on a charge of uninformed HIV infected sexual intercourse along with unlawful sexual activity with a minor.
Prosecutors tried Williams on the rape and sexual misconduct charges in October and a jury found him not guilty of sexual battery and uninformed HIV infected sexual intercourse. They convicted him of the charge related to having sex with an underage teen.
That conviction came with a minimum eight-year sentence, according to sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors pushed for the maximum 15-year prison sentence.
But during Friday’s hearing Williams asked Perkins to render a reduced sentence, citing the fact that he was unaware of the victim’s age as a mitigating factor. Williams’ attorney Regina Nunnally also argued that the teen misrepresented his actual age by pretending to be an adult on Grindr, and was a willing participant in the sexual activity.
Williams remained defiant when he addressed Perkins on Friday, calling the rape allegations against him false accusations. He admitted to unwittingly sleeping with a minor.
“I’ve been here for 16 months,” he told the judge. “I’ve lost my son, I’ve lost my home, I’ve lost my job, I’ve lost my professional certifications. These people get to go on with their lives and still these lies are out there. But I am always going to be affected by this.
“I was not found guilty of rape, I was not found guilty of physically injuring (the victim),” he later added. “I’ve lost everything I worked for my whole life. I’ve been totally, totally accountable for my actions. I chose to believe he was an adult. I chose to be on an adult website seeking anonymous sex. I chose those things your honor.”
Perkins, who presided over Williams’ trial in October, recalled that while the victim may have lied about his age on the app, the boy was adamant in his trial testimony that he told Williams he was 16 when they met. The judge determined that the teen became a willing participant in “the context of what occurred” when he signed up on the dating website, but that did not equate to him consenting to having sex with Williams.