Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf announced on Jan. 16 that 54-year-old Edward Lee Williams of West Cornwall Township has been arrested and jailed on accusations that he sexually assaulted a 7-year-old girl in Cornwall.

According to a press release, Cornwall police were alerted on Jan. 15 by the alleged victim’s mother and learned there was a video recording of Williams molesting the child on Jan. 14, into the morning hours of Jan. 15.

Hess Graf said that a police investigation revealed that Williams touched the victim inappropriately “every time they had movie night,” and that two other children confirmed that Williams had indecent contact with the victim “over a period of time.”

Court records say the incidents took place at Williams’ residence at 231 Williams Drive, Manheim. Despite the Manheim mailing address, the property is located in West Cornwall Township, Lebanon County.

Cornwall police, assisted by a SWAT team, arrested Williams on Jan. 15. The DA did not say why a SWAT team was involved.

According to the DA, a second child has accused Williams of indecent contact. The DA did not say whether charges relating to the other child have been filed or are anticipated.

The DA said a search of Williams’ residence on Jan. 16 resulted in the seizure of “clothing worn by the 7-year-old victim depicted in the videos and bedding located within the home.”

Williams is charged with rape of a child, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, unlawful contact with a minor – sexual offenses, and aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 13 years old. All charges are felonies, and could result in up to 70 years in jail if all result in convictions.

Williams was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Kim Wolfe. As of the afternoon of Jan. 16, he remained  in the Lebanon County Correctional Facility, unable to post $500,000 bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 25 before Magisterial District Judge Anthony Verna, Sr.

UPDATE: This article was updated at 12:20 p.m. on Jan. 17 to include additional information about Williams’ address and the location of the alleged crimes.

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Chris Coyle writes primarily on government, the courts, and business. He retired as an attorney at the end of 2018, after concentrating for nearly four decades on civil and criminal litigation and trials. A career highlight was successfully defending a retired Pennsylvania state trooper who was accused,...


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