54ºF

Police: Man molested young girl at height of Hurricane Irma

Williams (Photo: St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)
Williams (Photo: St. Johns County Sheriff's Office)

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A St. Augustine man was arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a child at the height of Hurricane Irma, authorities said Friday.

Reginald Wayne Williams, 29, was booked Thursday into the St. Johns County jail. He's charged with sexual battery on a victim younger than 12 and remains in custody in lieu of $500,000 bail.

Officers took the initial report Sept. 20, but the incident is believed to have occurred ten days earlier amid Irma, according to Williams' arrest report.

Pieces of the police report detailing the incident are redacted, which is routine for sex crimes and cases involving children. The exact relationship between Williams and the victim is unclear from the report, but the girl's family told News 6's sister station WJXT-TV that the man was the boyfriend of the victim's older sister.

They said they are saddened by the betrayal of their trust.

The victim told police that she and her family were asleep in the living room Sept. 10 when she was awakened about 3:30 a.m. by Williams, who appeared to be intoxicated. 

She said Williams groped her and offered her money if she let him touch her. She said Williams grew frustrated and left her alone after she resisted those advances.

At some point, the victim dozed off again. She said she woke again an hour later to find Williams molesting her, and told him to stop. Afterward, the victim went back to sleep.

Confronted in the morning, Williams acknowledged what happened, according to the report. The report said he chalked it up to being high at the time, but could not provide more explanation.

The victim said Williams came by her home a couple days later, approached her in the kitchen and groped her buttocks. She said she slapped him, pushed him away and told him to leave.

Detectives obtained a warrant Thursday for the arrest of Williams, who faces a minimum sentence of life in prison if convicted in the case.

This article is courtesy of WJXT-TV.