(Photo: Johnson City Police Facebook)
Sean Williams, the Johnson City man at the center of widening allegations that local police failed to investigate multiple sexual assault allegations against him over four years, has escaped custody.
A multi-agency manhunt is underway for Williams, who was due for an appearance at the Greenville Federal courthouse Wednesday but escaped by kicking the back window out of a transport vehicle, according to court records.
U.S. Marshal David Jolley of the Eastern District of Tennessee told WJHL-TV that he “has a lot of questions” about how Williams made the escape and pledged to seek charges against anyone who aided him. Multiple agencies in northeast Tennessee have joined the search.
Williams is facing more than two dozen federal charges, including child rape, that stem from his arrest on drug charges in April by Western Carolina University police. A search of his electronics yielded images of more than 50 women being sexually assaulted as well as children.
Williams until then had not been charged in connection with any of the sexual assaults multiple Johnson City women reported to local police.
The serial sexual assault allegations publicaly emerged against Williams last year when a former federal special prosecutor filed suit against Johnson City Police, the city and its former police chief alleging she was forced out of her job after she pressed to build a case against Williams, whom she believed had raped at least 10 women.
In June, nine women filed a separate federal lawsuit, alleging that Johnson City police knew Williams was a serial rapist and let him get away with it. A tenth woman recently joined the suit.
Both federal lawsuits are ongoing.
#TNMostWanted Alert: Have you seen Sean Christopher Williams?
He’s wanted on numerous charges, including Rape of a
Child, Especially Aggravated Sexual Exploitation of a Minor, and Aggravated Sexual Battery.
If you see Williams, call 1-800-TBI-FIND. 1/X pic.twitter.com/7aucaJCgdg
— Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (@TBInvestigation) October 18, 2023
GET THE MORNING HEADLINES DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.