WESTWOOD (CBSLA.com) — Authorities released new details on the capture of a former USC professor in Mexico Tuesday, one day after he was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List.
Walter Lee Williams, 64, is charged with sexual exploitation of children, travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, and criminal forfeiture, according to the FBI.
He was apprehended near in Playa del Carmen and was awaiting deportation to Los Angeles as of Wednesday.
Authorities said Williams, who was found in a park drinking coffee, had been living in Mexico and earning a living writing books.
“A citizen saw his photograph in local media in Mexico, recognized him, contacted Mexican law enforcement authorities, and they ultimately got with the FBI and coordinated the arrest,” said Bill Lewis of the FBI.
That person is now eligible for the $100,000 reward.
Williams taught anthropology, history and gender studies at USC until 2011, according to a FBI spokeswoman.
Officials allege Williams used his academic research as a guise, reportedly securing research funds to travel to the Philippines, Indonesia, Polynesia and Thailand where he is accused of engaging in sex acts with underage boys.
“This is a good day in Los Angeles,” Assistant LAPD Chief Mike Moore said. “Two years ago, an investigation started from a citizen who was concerned about this man’s intentions of attacking and molesting young men.”
The FBI has said it has identified as many as 10 victims, ranging in age from 9-years-old to 17-years-old.
A federal arrest warrant was issued for him on April 30. Williams disappeared after he was interviewed by the Los Angeles Police Department in 2011.
Williams is scheduled to be deported to Los Angeles and will face a judge on Thursday.