Hurlburt airman allegedly used social media to contact young rape victim
HURLBURT FIELD — A February report to police in the northern Alabama city of Decatur that an adult male had been communicating online with a child led to the April arrest of a 25-year-old Hurlburt Field airman on rape and child sex charges, according to the Decatur Police Department.
Senior Airman Keith Norris Williams was arrested in Florida on April 30 on charges of first-degree rape, traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act and electronic solicitation of a child, according to a Thursday post on the Decatur Police Department's Facebook page.
Previous coverage:Hurlburt Field airman detained in Alabama on rape, child sex allegations
Williams was extradited to Decatur on Sunday on the charges and was released from jail the same day on a $60,000 bond, according to the Police Department's social media news release.
Williams, a member of the 901st Special Operations Aircraft Maintenance Squadron, is "under military control in the state of Alabama," a spokeswoman for the 1st Special Operations Wing — the host unit at Hurlburt Field, which includes Williams' squadron — said Wednesday. The spokeswoman added that Williams "is within the confines of an Air Force base and is not allowed to leave the state of Alabama."
The Decatur Police Department's Thursday news release on Williams' arrest noted that police received notification of Williams' alleged online communication with the young victim on Feb. 12.
A subsequent investigation revealed that Williams had "made arrangements to meet the child in person," and that in October of last year he allegedly "traveled to Decatur (from Hurlburt Field, a distance of nearly 350 miles) and engaged in an unlawful sex act with the child," according to Decatur police.
Decatur police will not offer comment on the case beyond the news release posted on Facebook, the department's public information liaison, Irene Cardenas Martinez, said Thursday in a brief telephone interview.
An online Thursday report on the Decatur Daily newspaper website indicated that Williams was tracked as a result of his posting of a friend request submitted to the victim on a Facebook page the victim's father had set up for all of his children.
According to the newspaper, that information is contained in an affidavit from a Decatur Police Department detective that now is part of Williams' case file in Morgan County (Alabama) Circuit Court.
The Northwest Florida Daily News has been in contact with the Morgan County Circuit Court Clerk's office to obtain a copy of the affidavit and whatever other information in the case file is available for public release.
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In a Thursday response to an email seeking the records, a clerk's office staff member indicated that she would have to consult with the circuit clerk, who is out of the office until Friday, before releasing any of the case records.
In Alabama, first-degree rape is a Class A felony with sanctions that can include life in prison. First-degree rape can be charged when the victim is younger than 12 years of age, if the perpetrator is older than 16. Traveling to meet a child for sex also is a Class A felony in Alabama.
Electronic solicitation of a child is a Class B felony in Alabama, and can carry a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.