John H. Durham, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and David Sundberg, Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, today announced that, on October 5, 2020, a federal grand jury in New Haven returned an indictment charging WILLIAM MEIER, 38, of Norwich, with one count of use of the internet to attempt to persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity, and one count of attempted transfer of obscene materials to a minor.
The indictment alleges that, on August 5, 2020, Meier transferred an obscene image to a person that he believed was under the age of 16, and that he used a cellphone and an internet-based messaging application in an attempt to solicit illicit sex with a minor.
Meier appeared today via videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert A. Richardson and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has been detained since his arrest by the New London Police Department on related state charges on August 6, 2020.
If convicted of the charges, Meier faces a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of 10 years and a maximum term of imprisonment of life.
U.S. Attorney Durham stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New London Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Doherty.
This prosecution is part of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Project Safe Childhood Initiative, which is aimed at protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.justice.gov/psc.
To report cases of child exploitation, please visit www.cybertipline.com.