NEWARK, N.J. — Police responding to a call about child sexual abuse said they found mummified remains and an altar to an unknown deity in the home of a man who is now facing multiple charges.
Robert Williams is scheduled for an initial court appearance Friday. He is charged with crimes including aggravated sexual assault, child endangerment and desecration of human remains.
According to the Essex County prosecutor’s office, Newark police investigated after receiving reports that the 53-year-old Williams had been abusing a 13-year-old child for several months.
Authorities said a search of Williams’ home last Thursday uncovered human remains stuffed in a bin in a closet. Investigators also saw a religious object they believed to be an altar.
It wasn’t clear where the remains came from or whether they had any connection to the alleged sexual abuse.
Neighbors told The New York Times they noticed a strong odor in recent weeks coming from the vicinity of Williams’ apartment on the first floor of a three-family house. Some told the newspaper they regularly saw Williams with children or were warned to keep their children away from him.
Williams was being held in the Essex County jail Wednesday, according to jail records. It wasn’t known whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.