Arm, head, torso in a necktie … and Aunt Jemima found in child sex bust, prosecutors say
Prosecutors called a New Jersey man "dangerous to society" after, they say, pieces of a human body were found in his closet — with a head, part of an arm, and a torso dressed in a necktie and suit jacket.
Investigators say Robert Williams, of Newark — who'd been under an investigation for allegations of child abuse — also had a religious alter. According to an NBC 4 New York report, law enforcement sources say it included "a voodoo toll and tambourines, animal horns, beads, castles, a picture of a crucifixion and a statue of Aunt Jemima."
Police initially went to Williams' home to investigate allegations he abused a 12- to 13-year-old boy over several months, but when they searched the apartment they found the altar remains, according to prosecutors.
The county's medical examiner has yet to identify the remains, but Assistant Essex County Prosecutor Michael Morris said Monday in court that they aren't related to the allegations of sex abuse. Williams on Monday pleaded not guilty desecrating human remains and child sexual abuse.
A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office in an email to New Jersey 101.5 said investigators are still trying to determine where the body came from.
The remains, found in a plastic bin, "raise the specter of a person out of step with society and dangerous to society," Morris told the judge in arguing for detention. At the conclusion of the brief proceeding, state Superior Court Judge Ronald Wigler ordered Williams held pending trial.
Williams' lawyer, public defender Susan Friedman, had argued that he could be released on home confinement and electronic monitoring. She said he had lived in the area for 18 years and has one disorderly person offense on his record that dates back more than 10 years.
New Jersey largely eliminated cash bail in 2017 and gave defendants the right to offer evidence showing why they should be released before trial.
The judge noted that Williams' alleged crimes carry a presumption of detention and that Williams would be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years if he is convicted of the most serious charge, aggravated sexual assault of a child under 13.
Statements by Williams corroborated the alleged victim's statements, Wigler said. "Reams of text messages" describe the alleged abuse, Morris added.
Williams is next scheduled in court Sept. 16.
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